Epistem to raise 4.3m pounds via placing

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LONDON (ShareCast) - Epistem, a biotechnology and personalised medicine company is to raise 4.3m pounds before expenses through a placing of approximately 793.4m shares at 545p a share.

The new ordinary shares, which represent 8.9% of Epistem's issued share capital have been conditionally placed with existing and new institutional investors at a 4% discount to the closing mid-market price on December 6th. They'll hit the market on December 13th.

The net proceeds of £4.2m will provide funds for the commercial launch of Genedrive, its new molecular diagnostic device as well as its first test for tuberculosis.

Commenting on the placing, Matthew Walls, Chief Executive Officer of Epistem, said: "We are about to enter a new and exciting phase of growth for Epistem with the launch of Genedrive, our first healthcare/diagnostic product. We believe Genedrive can change the way diagnostics is delivered in 'near patient' settings by providing the 'gold standard' of DNA based test results at significantly reduced cost in a simple to use device form."

As announced in the company's preliminary results issued on October 16th, Epistem's collaborations with Becton Dickinson (NYSE: BDX - news) and Xcelris Laboratories include escalating annual volume requirements for units and assays with each contract capable of delivering revenues to Epistem in excess of $20m-30m per annum over the next three to five years.

The company will require more working capital as its first regulated test on Genedrive for the tuberculosis market is expected to generate initial sales in the first quarter of 2013. Regulatory approval of the tuberculosis assay specific to the Indian subcontinent is expected in the first half of 2013.

CM