Thursday 4th July 2019
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Potential investors in TruScreen want to see chief executive Martin Dillon in person before backing a $2 million capital raising.
On Tuesday, the cervical cancer test maker's shares were placed on a trading halt that was due to be lifted today. However, that halt has now been extended until Monday.
Dillon says the process is taking longer than initially expected. The bookbuild, being carried out in Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, has been extended because of the "geographic diversity and because a lot of people want to speak to the chief executive," Dillon said from Melbourne.
The firm is aiming to raise $2 million to cover working capital, inventory build-up and expenses, but can go up to $3 million if demand warrants, he said.
The company had a net cash outflow from operating and investing activities of $3.09 million in the year to March 31 and its cash at year-end was $1.7 million, according to its annual report.
The report noted uncertainty around the firm's ability to continue as a going concern if things don't go to plan.
"Whilst forecasts show operational cash flow will be sufficient, the forecast capital raise provides additional headroom should the above-mentioned risks eventuate and cash reserves are exhausted within 12 months from the date of this report," the report said.
The company reported a $3.5 million net loss for the year ended March, down from a $4.2 million loss the previous year.
TruScreen's primary focus is in China, where it has started large-scale evaluations with the women’s and children’s division of the Centre for Disease Control and with the China Obstetrics and Gynaecology Association.
According to the company, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide. An estimated 570,000 new cases are diagnosed annually and 311,000 women die every year from the disease.
TruScreen's key markets are low- and middle-income nations that lack laboratory infrastructure, expert technicians and large-scale cervical cancer screening programmes. About 87 percent of deaths from cervical cancer occur in low and middle-income countries.
The firm's shares last traded at 13 cents and have fallen 30 percent so far this year.
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