GATC Biotech and LifeCodexx Develop a Diagnostic Test for Early Detection of Preeclampsia
Product News May 16, 2011
Preeclampsia is a hypertensive disorder of the mother during pregnancy. It is among the leading causes of death of mother and unborn child and occurs in approximately two to five percent of all pregnancies in Germany. Early detection is critical and improves the prognosis for the further course of the pregnancy.
On the basis of next generation sequencing technologies GATC Biotech and LifeCodexx will develop a human genetic diagnostic test that will allow the detection of cell-free fetal DNA as an important early marker. The test would allow a reliable risk assessment before symptoms appear.
The project is supported by grants from the KMU Innovation Program of the Federal Ministry for Research and Education with 500,000 Euros over the next two years.
"Currently there is no reliable method to predict preeclampsia. This new genetic test will therefore provide additional assurance early in pregnancy," said Dr. Wera Hofmann, Medical Director of LifeCodexx AG.
"We will immediately investigate the new PacBio RS technology for use in the test protocol. This sequencing system of the Third Generation can analyze single molecules in real-time within minutes. Costs and duration of the diagnostic test could be drastically reduced,” added Peter Pohl, CEO of GATC Biotech and chairman of LifeCodexx.
“We are pleased to have a second diagnostic test in our development pipeline, in addition to the non-invasive prenatal diagnostic test for the determination of trisomy 21. It is another step forward towards our goal to become a leader in the field of Next Generation Molecular Diagnostics,” said Dr. Michael Lutz, CEO of LifeCodexx AG.