se, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a specialist in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, this is a major research breakthrough in prenatal medicine.
"This is potentially one of the biggest steps forward to determine genetic conditions in the fetus. The ability to make an early diagnosis is the key that opens the door for the future treatment of many birth defects before the child is born," says Dr. Moise. "This shows promise as an excellent alternative to amniocentesis and may give expectant parents peace of mind."
Through technology licensing agreements with clinical laboratories, Sequenom expects a non-invasive application of its technology for fetal Rhesus D (RhD) typing to become available in these laboratories beginning in the first half of 2007. Rhesus disease can occur when the blood of the expectant mother is incompatible with her unborn child.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the incidence of hemolytic disease caused by RhD incompatibility in newborns occurs in approximately 1 in 1,000 live born infants. Complications from RhD disease can lead to jaundice, anemia, brain damage, heart failure, and death.
"We are making significant progress in developing our proprietary Fetal Nucleic Acid Technology and anticipate applying our novel approach to multiple prenatal tests such as tests for RhD, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, and others," said Dr. Harry Stylli, Sequenom President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe our technology has great potential to substantially improve the standard of care for all pregnant mothers."
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