Clinical Computing to join list at pounds 20m: Medical software maker plans to expand range and develop network

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The Independent Online
CLINICAL Computing, a niche supplier of software to the healthcare industry, is seeking a Stock Exchange listing through a placing of its shares this week. Its market capitalisation will be pounds 20m at the placing price of 124p.

Clinical Computing sells software - under the brand name Proton - that allows medical staff to update and access clinical information on patients. It means that clinics can replace massive paper files of medical notes.

Jeremy Woan, chief executive, said: 'This is a market that has been completely overlooked.' The company already has versions of its software in a fifth of all dialysis units in the US, he said.

Since new NHS contracts emphasise assessments of patient care, he anticipates strong growth of demand in Britain for the computerisation of medical notes. Clinical has sold software to about 150 NHS hospital departments, out of a total of about 5,000.

Clinical recently signed an agreement with Baxter Healthcare, a US medical supplier, to explore the possibility of joint product development and marketing.

Founded in 1979 by Michael Gordon, its executive chairman, Clinical's turnover was pounds 2.6m in 1993, and pre-tax profits were pounds 1.2m. The previous 17-month period saw a pounds 549,000 loss on slightly lower turnover. Clinical had paid exceptional bonuses of more than pounds 700,000 to two directors, enabling them to repay personal loans taken out on behalf of the company.

It will use the money raised from the placing - pounds 3.1m after expenses - partly to extend its range of software. It currently offers packages for dialysis clinics and four other specialities, and will add others.

It will also build a sales and distribution network. So far sales have been made by word of mouth and displays at medical conferences.

Mr Woan said: 'Historically the company has not been able to meet all the demand because, like many small companies funded internally, we are resource-constrained.' Maintaining working capital is a priority. The directors intend to enhance shareholder value through capital growth rather than through the payment of dividends.

The directors and existing investors will retain three-quarters of the company's share capital. Dealings are expected to begin on Thursday.

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