Epichem makes final loan repayment for new laboratory

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PharmAust (ASX:PAA), a clinical-stage oncology company, has announced its Perth-based synthetic and medicinal chemistry subsidiary Epichem has paid off its debt liability for a major laboratory expansion undertaken in 2015.

The company was founded in 2003 and now has customers in over 35 countries.

The company said by 2015 its growth was constrained by a laboratory running at full capacity. New premises were found and a laboratory constructed with the support from parent company PharmAust and a $750,000 Export Contract Loan from Export Finance Australia.

Epichem made its final loan re-payment to Export Finance Australia last month on this laboratory.

According to CEO Dr Martine Keenan, “It’s a tremendous achievement for Epichem and our terrific staff. Many thanks to Export Finance Australia for supporting us. We couldn’t have done it without them, or our parent company PharmAust, who have also assisted throughout this development phase.”

Epichem subsequently constructed a second laboratory at the Technology Park site, once again with the support of PharmAust and Export Finance Australia, which provided a further $466,000 loan.

The company said repayment of the second Export Finance Australia loan is already 40 per cent complete with remaining payments concluding in August 2021. 

Epichem’s revenues have grown rapidly over the period 2015 to 2018, increasing 38 per cent to $3.02 million in financial year 2018, and forecast to exceed $3.7 million in the current financial year. 

“I think the best is yet to come for Epichem. With our second laboratory now operational and fully occupied we have the infrastructure to support growth in all of our business areas,” said Dr Keenan.
PharmAust Chairman Dr Roger Aston said, “It is a major accomplishment for the company. Epichem’s global competitiveness has been boosted with the investment in cuttingedge laboratories, growth in workforce and the recently attained ISO quality accreditations. With the primary loan repaid and positive revenue trajectory, we look forward to further growth at Epichem.”