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13 May, 2016 - 08:17 By Kate Sweeney

Lab21 in Cambridge boosts Novacyt growth

novacyt, infectious diseases, cambridge

Cambridge based Lab21 has contributed significantly to its new French owner’s strong 2015 results, justifying Novacyt’s decision to strengthen the group through the previous year’s acquisition.

The Paris-quoted biotechnology company has delivered double digit sales growth in the last year, trumpeting successful integration of Lab21, and has just completed another synergistic acquisition – buying a second UK company, Primer Design which has developed a novel test kit to help fight the spread of the Zika virus.

Novacyt has also raised €4.2 million from the issue of new equity and restructured its debt by replacing Clydesdale Bank with Kreos Capital to support global growth plans.

Consolidated group sales increased 96 per cent in 2015 to €8.9m, reflecting the effects of the first full year of the Lab21 acquisition; Lab21 sales increased 12 per cent to €7.6m year-on-year.

Novacyt reports significant post-acquisition investment in Lab21 – in new products and manufacturing capacity to support anticipated sales growth in 2016. Headcount has also risen substantially.

Graham Mullis, group CEO of Novacyt, and previously chief exec at Lab21, said: “I am delighted to report strong double-digit sales growth across the group in 2015, with 30 per cent sales growth from our innovative Novaprep® technology.

“Our increased sales momentum reflects the renewed focus and investment in our commercial infrastructure. The successful consolidation and integration of Novacyt and Lab21 has produced a solid and scalable foundation from which to execute our growth strategy.

“The combination with Primer Design’s technology will accelerate the development of new products and sales of new approved clinical molecular diagnostic products, benefiting the group’s growth and profitability.”

Primer Design has developed significant new revenues from the Zika test in key territories such as Brazil and parts of Asia. It is also currently working with a major hospital in the US market to generate the necessary clinical data for a US FDA submission under the Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) process. If successful, this would mean the Primer Design Zika test will be available for clinical use in the US market.

Mullis reports a strong start to 2016 with sales for Novaprep® 33 per cent ahead of the same period last year. This was despite a slower than anticipated start in China, with the majority of growth being generated in Europe.

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