The spin off of the University of Granada Lorgen, in collaboration with the Foetal Medicine Unit of the Maternity Hospital Virgen de las Nieves of Granada, has managed to develop a genetic trial that identifies the sex of the foetus from the eighth week of pregnancy separating the DNA found in the plasma of the pregnant woman. This new finding has been tested through a clinical trial in 120 pregnant women, under the coordination Dr Sebastin Manzanares (Foetal Medicine Unit of the Virgen de las Nieves University Hospital). The methods effectiveness rate is above 98%. Although the test can be carried out from the sixth week of pregnancy, the reliability of the technique is much higher from the eighth.
The technique is based on the fact that, during pregnancy, between 3.4 and 6.2% of the total DNA free in mother plasma has a foetal origin. Therefore, a simple peripheral blood sample is enough for the study, which opens new possibilities in the field of non-invasive prenatal diagnosis.
With all these privacy guarantees, the mother can carry out the extraction directly through a simple method, send it to Lorgen and receive the results 48 hours later.
Diagnosis of monogenic diseases
This new process, apart from saving the parents the wait until the forth or fifth month of pregnancy to find out the sex of their future baby, involves a great scientific progress with important medical applications; especially in the diagnosis of monogenic diseases related to X chromosome, such as haemophilia or Duchenne muscular dystrophy. In these cases, the possibility of determining the sex of the baby as soon as possible, would avoid the processes of invasive prenatal diagnosis such as amniocentesis, chorionic villus biopsy or cordcentesis, which involve a danger for the life of the foetus.
Genetic research and molecular biology
The research work has been sponsored by the Foundation for Biosanitary Research of Eastern Andalusia Alejandro Otero (FIBAO). Lorgen GP is a pioneer company in the field of genetic research and molecular biology created as spin off of the University of Granada by Professor Jos Antonio Lorente Acosta, director of the Laboratory of Genetic Identification of the UGR. Lorgen is one of the business initiatives sponsored by the investment holding of Granada Lider and made up by 24 businessmen and 2 financial entities (CajaGranada and Caja Rural de Granada).
|Contact: Javier Valverde|
Universidad de Granada