AorTech International plc (AIM: AOR.L), the licensor of the world’s leading long- term implantable biostable polymer (Elast-EonTM) and developer of medical devices utilising the key properties of Elast-EonTM, is pleased to provide the following trading update ahead of the publication of the Group’s audited final results for the financial year ended 31 March 2019 which are expected to be released in mid-July 2019.
- Growth in polymer licensing revenue from £404k to over £460k
- Strong cash position of £2.4 million as at 31 March 2019 (2018: £422k)
- Good progress in developing portfolio of medical devices
- Confidence in strategy, business model and prospects
Bill Brown, Chairman of AorTech, commented: “Our strategy of transitioning AorTech into a medical device manufacturer is progressing well with much having been achieved over the last year. The business model of working with partners means that progress has been made on a highly cost effective basis. We remain confident of delivering further progress in the current year.”
AorTech went through a significant change during the year with a new strategy adopted, a fundraising successfully concluded and the Board strengthened. The new strategy is to develop medical devices based upon the world class properties of AorTech’s polymers whilst continuing to license the rights to those same polymers in non-competing areas. The development and approval process for new medical devices takes several years and, as a result, the revenues received in the year were restricted to the polymer licensing business. To better reflect the focus of the business now being a UK centric medical device developer, the currency of the annual accounts has changed with effect from the financial year ended 31 March 2019 from US $ to UK £. It is pleasing that on a Sterling denominated basis, we saw a growth in polymer licensing and royalty income from £404,000 to over £460,000.
During the year, AorTech raised net new capital of £2.54 million by way of a placing and open offer of new shares at 30p per share to fund product development costs. At the year end, the Group’s cash position remained strong at £2.41 million (2018: £422k).
The development focus has been on heart valve design and the synthesising of materials for vascular prothesis. This phase is now nearing completion and prototyping, manufacturing and testing will become the Company’s principal focus over the coming year. Much technical planning has been undertaken as part of the design for manufacture process to identify the most up to date equipment available to automate and ensure repeatability of the manufacturing processes. Our team has identified an opportunity to significantly improve the way the heart valves are manufactured and, if successful, should allow optimised polymer heart valve designs to be manufactured with reduced costs. We will, however, retain optionality over the existing manufacturing method to ensure time to market is not impacted.