Premaitha Health plc developer of the IONA® test, the first CE-marked non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPT) product, has signed an agreement with Visional Medical to provide access to the benefits of NIPT for pregnant women in India. Visional Medical is a new organisation based in the UK and India that aims to deliver better diagnostic tests to the developing world.
Visional Medical works closely with obstetricians and midwives throughout India to raise awareness and improve education on the benefits of using NIPT and establish links with local hospitals and clinics. There are nearly 26 million births every year in India but many pregnant women do not have access to any form of prenatal screening. However, this is changing and the private market for NIPT is growing rapidly - especially in the country’s metropolitan areas.
Visional Medical will provide pregnant women in India access to the IONA® test to safely and accurately estimate the risk of a fetus being affected by serious genetic disorders, including Down’s, Edwards’ and Patau’s syndrome. The IONA® test only requires a sample of maternal blood to analyse cell-free fetal DNA and provide a result.
Blood samples from these pregnant women will be sent to Premaitha’s CQC-registered clinical service laboratory in Manchester where they will be analysed using the IONA® test and the results sent directly to healthcare professionals in India.
Dr Stephen Little, CEO of Premaitha said: “The potential market for NIPT in India is huge – there are millions of pregnancies every year and currently little provision of any prenatal screening. Our partnership with Visional Medical will provide a risk-free, rapid and reliable prenatal screening test to address this unmet medical need.
“This partnership also expands the geographical reach of Premaitha’s IONA® test into Asia for the first time and marks the fourth such agreement that we have made with specialist regional partners in the past three months. As we continue to accelerate our global footprint and reach of NIPT with the IONA® test, we can provide more expectant mothers with the benefits of using a safe, accurate and stress-free test.”
Dr Colin Ferrett, CEO of Visional Medical said: “We are thrilled to be working with Premaitha and we look forward to offering this advanced yet simple screening test to improve prenatal provision to the large population of pregnant mothers in India. Visional Medical’s mission is to work with cutting edge diagnostic tools to advance healthcare into the 21st century for the developing world.”
Premaitha’s IONA® test is more sensitive and specific than the current combined test and provides pregnant women and their families with a more accurate and reliable screening result, helping reduce the need for invasive procedures that carry a risk of a miscarriage.