Wed 20th Jul 2011 New consortium invests in Atlas

 

Consort Medical plcConsort Medical joins new consortium for further investment in Atlas Genetics

Consort Medical plc (LSE: CSRT) is pleased to announce today that it is making a second investment in Atlas Genetics Ltd (Atlas), a UK based privately owned technology company with an ultra-rapid Point of Care (POC) platform, in which Consort already owns a 19% stake.

Atlas_Genetics_logo_newConsort’s recent investment in Atlas Genetics has now been supplemented by a consortium of new investors. The consortium, which includes (1) Novartis Venture Funds, (2) A major healthcare company, (3) BB Biotech Ventures, (4) LSP (Life Science Partners) and (5) Consort Medical plc, will invest up to a maximum of £16.9m over three years.

Atlas-CardThe first tranche has been invested upon completion, of which Consort Medical’s share is £1.3m, inclusive of the £0.4m outstanding as a commitment from the previous investment round. In addition, Consort has acquired a small number of shares from existing investors. The new investment will provide funding to accelerate the global launch of the current product for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea and allow parallel development of the Velox testing system for other targets including hospital acquired infections and meningitis.

Jon Glenn, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

We are delighted to be joined by a new consortium as co-investors in Atlas. The investment will de-risk Atlas by providing sufficient funds to develop the core technology, invest in capital equipment, undertake clinical studies, and broaden the range of tests available.

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Enquiries

Consort Medical plc – Tel: +44 (0) 1442 867920

Jonathan Glenn, Chief Executive Officer

Toby Woolrych, Group Finance Director

Brunswick – Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Jon Coles/Justine McIlroy/Amie Gramlick

Consort Medical plc is a leader in medical devices for drug delivery and device technologies. The Group develops drug delivery systems for the pharmaceutical industry and disposable airway management products for critical care settings in hospitals.

Consort Medical develops and manufactures metered dose inhaler valves, auto-injectors, needle-free injectors, actuators, compliance aids, dry powder devices, disposable facemasks, breathing circuits, video laryngoscopes and laryngeal tubes. The Group has a Head Office in Hemel Hempstead, UK and manufacturing facilities in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, and Nelson, Lancashire in the UK, Indianapolis, Indiana and Kent, Ohio in the US. Consort Medical is a public company quoted on the full list of the London Stock Exchange (LSE: CSRT).

Atlas Genetics Ltd develops rapid point-of-care diagnostic tests for infectious diseases. The Velox system uses patented technology based on the use of a novel electrochemical sensor that combines speed, accuracy and multiplex detection capability. The company has its head office in Bristol, UK and laboratory facilities in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, UK.

Atlas Genetics’ platform

POC diagnostics offers health professionals the ability to test for medical conditions at the site of patient care. Atlas has developed a flexible POC technology platform, called Velox which has been designed to accurately and quickly diagnose a wide range of medical conditions within a 30 minute time-frame. The Velox system consists of an inexpensive test machine into which a disposable cartridge containing a patient sample is inserted. The platform is scheduled to launch within Europe around the end of 2012, followed by rollout in the United States, pending regulatory approvals.

Atlas is developing tests for a range of infectious diseases including sexually transmitted diseases, hospital acquired infections and meningitis. The Velox system will initially be launched for the testing of Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea, allowing clinicians to test and treat patients in a single appointment. Around 40 million tests are carried out for these diseases in Europe and the US every year. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Chlamydia is the most frequently reported bacterial sexually transmitted disease (STD), with prevalence rates in young people between 5-10%, whilst Gonorrhoea is the second most commonly reported STD.

The infectious disease testing market

The worldwide in vitro diagnostic sales for infectious disease testing is estimated to be worth $9 billion by 2012. Atlas intends to enter a sub-segment of this market initially, including tests sexually transmitted diseases, hospital acquired infections, and meningitis.

Details of the funding round

The new consortium of investors comprises Novartis Venture Funds, a major healthcare company, BB Biotech Ventures, LSP (Life Science Partners) and Consort Medical plc. The objectives of the new investment are firstly to inject sufficient funds to accelerate the global launch of the current product for Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea and secondly to allow parallel development of the Velox testing system for the other diseases listed above.

The primary investment round is potentially for a maximum of £16.9m over three years. The first tranche has been invested upon completion, of which Consort Medical’s share is £1.3m, inclusive of the £0.4m outstanding as a commitment from the previous investment round, maintaining its 19% stake. Further investments will be made in February 2013 and February 2014. Consort’s total potential further investment in these tranches is expected to be £1.6m.

At the same time, a modest secondary placing has taken place in which the consortium has acquired shares from certain pre-existing shareholders. Consort Medical’s share of the secondary placing amounts to around £170,000.Consort’s equity stake in Atlas will at all times remain below 20% and the investment will therefore continue to be accounted for as an equity investment in the accounts.