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Australia's VCGS Inks Deal with Illumina to Develop NIPT

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Victorian Clinical Genetics Services, a genetic testing subsidiary of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia, has struck a deal with Illumina for non-invasive prenatal testing.

Under the agreement, VCGS will develop its own non-invasive prenatal test using Illumina's sequencing technology, which it will begin offering in early 2015. Prior to launching its own test, VCGS will send samples to Illumina for testing. 

"This agreement positions VCGS at the frontier of prenatal testing in Australia, and offers patients exciting and powerful new options for genetic testing," Damien Bruno, deputy laboratory director at VCGS, said in a statement. 

VCGS currently provides maternal serum screening for more than 58,000 women annually. It also offers genetic services, including genetic counseling and education.

Earlier this year, VCGS published on a method in PLOS One to reduce coverage bias from shotgun sequencing in order to improve accuracy of detecting aneuploidy.