Special report: Specialist life sciences fund Merchant Opportunities has upped its stake in medical diagnostics operation Rhythm Biosciences as the company continues to work on developing its simple colon cancer screening test.

Merchant Opportunities fund has upped its stake in the company from 5.02 to 7.01 per cent acquiring an additional two million securities for $449,561. The increase in equity comes just days after Merchant became a majority shareholder in the business, with the initial 5 per cent stake announced on Tuesday.

“We are particularly happy to have Merchant as a substantial shareholder, given their enviable record of combining thorough research with exceptional returns,’’ Rhythm Biosciences (ASX:RHY) chief executive Trevor Lockett said on Tuesday.

Rhythm highlighted Merchant Opportunities fund is known for its role as a long-term investment in companies close to commercialisation.

“That has been shown with many of their previous substantial shareholder investments in the biotechnology industry such as PolyNovo (ASX: PNV) where after almost 5 years, Merchant Group and the Merchant Opportunities Fund still maintains a substantial stake,” Mr Lockett said.

Rhythm is working to bring a simple, easy-to-use blood test for colorectal cancer to market, looking to address the fact that too many Australians are reluctant to undertake the initial cancer screenings currently available in Australia, which involve testing a stool sample.

The ColoSTAT blood test was developed and patented by CSIRO in a thirteen year research program, and was licensed to the company for commercialisation in 2017.

Rhythm’s current core project is commercialising the ColoSTAT product.


This special report is brought to you by Rhythm Biosciences.

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