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Disclosure: Financial Investigative Media Limited, which is not owned by Tom Winnifrith but by a trust for his dependants, owns shares in companies mentioned in this article. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Last week was a bit of a stomach churner for Premaitha (NIPT). The shares zoomed for about 30 minutes as it announced a stunning deal to commercialise its IONA test. They the tanked as a US giant launched a patent infringement case. Today they are zooming – up 37% at 24p – but I am not selling. In fact I am just kicking myself for not buying more at 16p a week ago!
Having advised readers to bank gains of c100% on this stock before the roller coaster (more luck than design I stress) this is now just a personal thing. RMPC owns a stack of the shares.
The patent case is one that Premaitha does not regard as based on sound fact but merely as an attempt by a rival which is losing face to face battles with Premaitha to use its financial muscle to bully a small but increasingly successful competitor with a far superior product. The case will be heard in the UK Courts but Premaitha has the backers to fight it and says that it is sure it will win.
Meanwhile it has again today showed the commercial potential of its technology with news of another contract win. The release reads:
Premaitha Health and St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust announce today that Premaitha has been awarded the contract to provide its non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT), the IONA® test, to St George's following a competitive tender process. The Trust, based at St George's Hospital in South West London, will be the first NHS facility to offer an in-house NIPT screening for pregnant women in the UK. The project award is a three-year contract with options to extend annually.
Non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) is an advanced screening test for pregnant women, using a small blood sample rather than an invasive procedure such as an amniocentisis, the test estimates the risk of a fetus having Down's syndrome or other serious genetic diseases. Until now, pregnant women in the UK could only access NIPT privately, with blood samples being sent to the US or China. Not only was this costly but carried a waiting time of up to two weeks which is a long time when parents may need to make decisions about their pregnancies.
Hmmm. A competitive tender. We know who Premaitha beat in its last competitive tender (hint, it responded with a patent case), I wonder who it beat in this one? The market potential here is clearly enormous and I am led to believe that there are a stack more pitches and thus – we hope – contract wins to be announced over the coming weeks and months.
Clearly the stock now faces a new risk but the potential reward is increasingly apparent and I believe the management in what it says on the patent issue. We are thus more than willing to hold as we await news of more contract wins and a further re-rating.
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