Good news at last for EKF Diagnostics (EKF:AIM). After a lack of interest forced the testing kit-maker to abandon plans to sell up last month, shares shot up 6.6% to 16p on generating positive data for one of its products.
Tests show that when used as a biomarker, soluble Tumour Necrosis Factor Receptor 1 (sTNFR1) identifies people likely to develop diabetic kidney disease. This was the main finding of a four-to-six year study of 1,335 patients by the Joslin Diabetes Center in the US.
The data highlights the role of sTNFR1 in identifying diabetic patients to take part in clinical trials to test potential treatments for the disease. But Dr Mike Mitchell, an analyst at Panmure Gordon, sees greater potential.
‘Today’s news is an interesting step forward in terms of the development of EKF’s position within kidney, not only in terms of supporting the clinical trial cycle but also in paving the way towards the opportunity for potential development of a companion diagnostic product,’ he said.
A sale of the company was muted after some shareholders became concerned at the way the company was being run after management overpaid for Selah Genomics in March 2014. A non-executive director-led strategic review recommended selling the business to return cash to shareholders, but the process failed to generate a suitable bid. US diagnostics veteran Ron Zwanziger has since become chairman.