Medical diagnostics firm Hibergene prepares for liquidation

Barbie Espinol

Hibergene reportedly owes around €1.3m to unsecured creditors, while the company’s board blamed a group of shareholders for impacting negotiations with a potential funding source.

Medtech diagnostics company Hibergene Diagnostics has appointed a liquidator to help wind down the company, following a meeting with the company’s shareholders.

The start-up has chosen accountant Colin Gaynor of Resolute Advisory as its appointed liquidator, according to a statement seen by The Irish Times. This statement indicates HiberGene owes around €1.3m to unsecured creditors, while employees are owed almost €305,000.

The financial issues of the medtech start-up had been brewing for some months now. In July, a portion of Hibergene’s shareholders held a “rebel EGM” that was not recognised by management, which was highly critical of the company’s performance, the Irish Independent reported.

The troubled firm told shareholders in August that it had been in talks with potential strategic partners. The company’s update also accused the shareholders involved in the EGM of negatively impacting these talks and damaging shareholder value, the Irish Independent reported.

The board of directors first informed shareholders of their plans to appoint a liquidator on 26 August, according to an update seen by The Irish Times.

In this update, Hibergene’s board blamed a group of shareholders for disclosing “confidential company business”, which caused a potential source of funding to pull out of negotiations.

Hibergene has been developing, manufacturing and marketing rapid diagnostic tests for years. Using the tagline ‘Saving Time, Saving Life’, the company has focused on products that can reduce the turnaround time for patient testing.

For example, the company said its technology can diagnose meningitis in less than one hour thanks to innovative, real-time results in software. This compares to traditional ‘culture’ methods that need to be sent to a laboratory and can take days to get results.

The company raised $2.1m in 2014 from private investors along with Enterprise Ireland and Kernel Capital.

In 2020, Hibergene received EU approval for its rapid molecular Covid-19 test. The company’s portable device was developed to accurately detect a positive viral infection within 30 minutes and have a negative result returned within an hour.

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