Thomsons has acted for Australian developer of clinical and diagnostic technology LBT Innovations (ASX: LBT) on a $6 million agreement with laboratory instrumentation company Hettich AG Switzerland to establish a joint venture to drive the commercial development and global distribution of LBT’s groundbreaking Automated Plate Assessment System (APAS®).
APAS is a novel automated culture plate reading and reporting system developed by LBT with researchers from the University of Adelaide. Automated identification of the large percentage of culture plates that typically return negative findings will mean significant time savings for microbiology labs, as well as faster and more consistent results for physicians and their patients. APAS is the first application of LBT’s innovative intelligent image interpretation platform and has the potential for practical use in a number of fields beyond conventional culture plate microbiology, which LBT is also pursuing.
This agreement will see the two companies hold 50:50 ownership in the joint venture company. Hettich will make an upfront payment of $2 million to LBT and will provide funding of $4 million into the joint venture (in tranches subject to achievement of milestones) to develop APAS products for commercial launch.
LBT will licence to the joint venture its APAS intellectual property and will, on behalf of the joint venture, complete its development. LBT will be retained by the joint venture for continued support and upgrade of APAS software in the market. The APAS intellectual property remains owned by LBT. Hettich will make working capital and technology available to the joint venture. The joint venture will have the exclusive right to the manufacture and marketing of APAS in the specified field.