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Artemis Health Licenses Prenatal Cell-Free DNA Analysis Technology from Stanford University
Date:1/27/2009

-- New Technology May Allow Development of Accurate Blood Test for Common Genetic Disorders Early in Pregnancy --

MENLO PARK, Calif., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Artemis Health Inc., a privately-held company dedicated to the development of non-invasive prenatal diagnostic tests, today announced that it has acquired a co-exclusive worldwide license from Stanford University to develop cell-free fetal DNA prenatal diagnostic tests based on pioneering research from the lab of Stephen Quake, Ph.D., co-chair of the department of bioengineering and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. The license expands Artemis' clinical and research program and will allow the company to develop a non-invasive prenatal blood test that accurately predicts chromosomal and genetic disorders.

"We are thrilled to expand our proprietary prenatal diagnostic platform focused on intact fetal cells to include Dr. Quake's pioneering cell-free fetal DNA analysis," said Lissa Goldenstein, president and chief executive officer of Artemis Health. "We now have two complementary approaches that provide access to vital information found only in fetal DNA, which circulates in the maternal bloodstream. We believe that working in parallel, we will be able to develop non-invasive, safe and effective prenatal blood tests that accurately diagnose genetic disorders without the need for invasive tests like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling."

This license broadens the research and development programs at Artemis, which have been based primarily on the pioneering work of Dr. Diana Bianchi for the isolation of intact fetal cells from maternal blood for advanced genetic analysis. Under the terms of the agreement, Artemis received a co-exclusive worldwide license to a suite of intellectual property based on Dr. Quake's groundbreaking cell-free fetal DNA analysis research in the field of prenatal diagnostics which was featured in the August issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The intellectual property license includes the use of digital polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology and shotgun sequencing to analyze cell-free fetal DNA from maternal blood, particularly for the diagnosis of fetal genetic disorders such as Down's syndrome, Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) and Patau syndrome (trisomy 13). In parallel with this agreement, Artemis has extended its existing exclusive consulting relationship with Dr. Quake.

"The addition of cell-free fetal DNA analysis complements the comprehensive cell-based program at Artemis Health and will accelerate clinical progress, ultimately bringing the benefits of single gene, single chromosome, and whole genome testing to all pregnant women, independent of their prior risk," stated Dr. Bianchi, an Artemis clinical advisory board member and the Natalie V. Zucker professor of pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology at Tufts University School of Medicine.

The Artemis Advantage for Prenatal Testing

Prenatal testing is an important tool for most pregnancies in the United States and the rest of the developed world. While the results of these tests provide timely information about the well-being of the fetus, it is broadly agreed that a safer prenatal diagnostic test offered early would allow women and their families to make more informed decisions about their pregnancy and better prepare for potential problems in their infants.

Artemis Health is developing non-invasive, genome-based prenatal tests for use in early pregnancy to diagnose genetic abnormalities and chromosomal aneuploidies (abnormal number of chromosomes). Through a single maternal blood draw early in pregnancy, Artemis' diagnostic tests will isolate intact fetal cells and cell-free fetal DNA to provide valuable and accurate genetic information without risk to the mother or her baby.

About Artemis Health Inc.

Artemis Health Inc. is a privately-held, diagnostics company focused on the development of non-invasive early-pregnancy prenatal tests for use in all pregnant women. Working in collaboration with leading research and clinical institutions, the company has developed cutting-edge technology to transform the field of prenatal testing through the analysis of both whole-cell and cell-free fetal DNA isolated from maternal blood. With a single, maternal blood draw early in pregnancy, Artemis' diagnostic tests will provide women with an accurate alternative to the invasive methods of amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling available today. For more information about Artemis Health, please visit www.artemishealthinc.com.


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SOURCE Artemis Health Inc.
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