(Sharecast News) - Life sciences and technology commercialisation and investment company NetScientific has agreed to acquire the outstanding minority interest of 43.6% of its portfolio company ProAxsis, it announced on Friday, from QUBIS and the founders.
The AIM-traded firm said the cash consideration would be £0.23m, with the key patent being assigned by the sellers.
It described ProAxsis as a commercial-stage diagnostics company, based in Northern Ireland, with a "rapidly growing" global client list of pharmaceutical companies and academic laboratories.
The company has registered a CE-mark for activity-based immunoassays targeting Neutrophil Elastase (NE) and Proteinase 3, as biomarkers of lung infection and inflammation in chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD, cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis.
That technology had been translated into a point-of-care test, 'NEATstik', to enable ongoing monitoring of active NE levels.
In the year ended 31 December, ProAxsis generated revenues of £0.73m, and a loss after tax for the financial year of £0.18m, of which £52,178 was included with non-controlling interests.
Its net liabilities as at the end of 2019 totalled £2.4m, of which £1.05m was included with non-controlling interests.
Following the acquisition, ProAxsis would be fully consolidated within NetScientific, with no amounts included with non-controlling interests, and operate as a separate subsidiary.
"In line with the group's strategic review and stated plans, ProAxsis is an example of the strong commercialisation potential of spin out companies from UK universities such as Queen's University Belfast," said chief executive officer Dr Ilian Iliev.
"This provides an early investment realisation opportunity for the company's two co-founders, Professor Lorraine Martin and Professor Brian Walker, while allowing the company to continue and accelerate its growth."
Dr Iliev said that, in line with the company's "proactive management", increasing its stake in ProAxsis via the agreements would enable it to provide the support required to maximise the company's value, and help it "capture synergies" within its broader ecosystem in the growing sector.
"We are delighted that David Moore, the university's head of spinouts and investments at QUBIS, has agreed to remain on the ProAxsis board of directors for the foreseeable future."
At 0947 BST, shares in NetScientific were up 1.64% at 62p.
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