Blood gas analysing specialist Sphere Medical (SPHR:AIM) is set to launch its Proxima device in September, sales of which are estimated to peak at £200 million.

Proxima analyses the blood gases that determine a patient’s health at the bedside, replacing the need to send samples to a lab. As well as cutting costs it reduces infection and anaemia risk with the analyser attached to a patient’s arm for six days and returning samples to the body. The global point-of-care blood gas testing market was worth $900 million in 2013 and is growing 4.9% annually, according to Sphere.

Small cap - Sphere Medical - 24 July 2014

The £14.8 million cap will target UK hospitals ahead of a launch in Germany and the Benelux in the first half of next year. Sphere needs the income. It has spent £48 million getting the device through the development and approval stages and lost £5.5 million in 2013 rising to £6 million this year.

Cash is one area of concern. Sphere burns £500,000 a month and had £7.8 million in the bank at the end of March. Unless demand for Proxima takes off by the end of the year it may have to return to the market in 2015 to pay its bills, which could lead to a discounted offer if trading conditions deteriorate in the next 12 months.

Issue Date: 28 Jul 2014