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Posted: May 16, 2008

Agreement Gives Analytical NanoTechnologies the Option to Buy Microarray

(Nanowerk News) UK-based Analytical NanoTechnologies (ANTnano) has signed a GBP100,000-plus licensing agreement with Microarray of Manchester for exclusive worldwide distribution rights for its ground- breaking chemical detection technology.
The agreement gives ANTnano the option to buy Microarray for GBP1m by June 30, by which time ANTnano hopes to have completed its push to float on AIM. The company sees the acquisition as a strategic move which could act as a springboard for future acquisitions.
ANTnano has seen its value rise from GBP1.8m to GBP7m since it floated on the Plus Market in February 2007, and is anticipating further rapid growth.
Chief executive Dr Allan Syms said: “These are very exciting times for the company.
“We expect to double the number of staff we employ in the North East and Sedgefield to 40 in the next 18 months.
“We are aiming to be a very profitable business and this agreement with Microarray will act as a springboard for further acquisitions.”
ANTnano develops and manufactures nanotechnology air-monitoring equipment such as machines for detecting airborne contaminants.
Its products are keenly sought after by drug research companies and chemical giants such as Procter and Gamble and Unilever. Its devices can also be used to sniff out Semtex and are being touted to counter- terrorism agencies.
Microarray developed a device with 250,000 sensors in one square centimetre for detecting bacteria.
ANTnano believe this facility will provide it with the ability to develop an MRSA monitoring device for use across the globe.
Dr Syms added: “We believe we will be able to develop a hand sensor using a combination of our technology and Microarray’s technology which will be able to detect the smallest quantities of MRSA.”
The licensing agreement between the two companies sees ANTnano paying GBP100,000 to Microarray for the exclusive worldwide licence for its products, plus a royalty charge.
But if ANTnano, founded four years ago as a spin-out from Sunderland University, completes its listing on AIM by June 30, it has the option to buy Microarray for GBP1m in cash and shares.
Dr Syms added: “We believe that Microarray’s technology can be applied to the detection of strokes, diabetes and cancer. This a huge market and reinforces our belief that these are very exciting times for the company.”
New firm sees rapid growth
IF ANTnano finalises the GBP1m acquisition of Microarray, it will complete a period of rapid growth for the company since landing its first commercial contract less than a year ago.
Last November, the firm laid out plans to become a GBP14m-a-year business by 2010 after winning a contract with Unilever.
The deal was a GBP750,000 order to supply ‘sniffer machines’ used to detect airborne contaminates such as biochemicals or explosives.
Last year also saw the company make a strategic move into Asia with the issuing of 666,664 ordinary shares to the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore (NTUS) at 28p a share, worth a total of GBP186,666. The issue followed an agreement between ANT, NTUS and the Singapore Economic Development Board to jointly develop the Sedgefield firm’s technology in the Asian state.
Source: nebusiness.co.uk
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