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ResApp to be acquired by Pfizer for $180m

·1-min read

Shareholders in a small Brisbane-based digital health company have approved its $180 million acquisition by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

Around 83 per cent of shares were cast in favour of the acquisition during a virtual scheme meeting on Wednesday afternoon. A 75 per cent supermajority was needed.

While there's a few more conditions to satisfy including court approval, those should not be hurdles and the takeover is expected be implemented on September 23.

A spin-out based on research conducted at the University of Queensland, the 20-person company is developing smartphone apps to diagnose respiratory diseases.

Its ResAppDx smartphone app acts as sort of a remote stethoscope, with patients coughing into their phone's microphone for diagnosis by machine learning algorithm.

The app has been approved by regulators in Australia and Europe and is used by clinicians to diagnose respiratory diseases, pneumonia or asthma in telehealth sessions.

ResApp also makes SleepCheckRx, a prescription-only app for diagnosing sleep apnoea. It is working on an app to diagnose COVID-19 based on cough noises, although recent testing shows it needs more work.

Still, chief executive Tony Keating told AAP in July that Pfizer's interest was "huge validation" not just for ResApp's work, but of the Australian biotech and digital health space.

Pfizer will pay 20.8c per share, a 131.1 per cent premium to ResApp's closing price on April 8, when the potential of an acquisition was first announced.