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Baylor, Berry Genomics Team on Non-invasive Prenatal Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Baylor College of Medicine said on Thursday that it will partner with the Chinese prenatal testing company Berry Genomics to combine their capabilities to improve prenatal genetic testing methods.

The partners plan to harness BCM's gene-chip microarray technologies that assess chromosome structure and Berry Genomics' technologies, which are used to evaluate fetal DNA in maternal plasma.

Testing using samples from fetal DNA from the mother's plasma gives patients the option of avoiding invasive procedures, such as placental or amniocentesis tests, which carry some risks and can be a source of stress for expecting mothers.

"We are conducting research to enable non-invasive prenatal testing to detect all the conditions currently detected by invasive testing," Arthur Beaudet, chair and professor of molecular genetics at BCM, said in a statement.

"Non-invasive prenatal testing and microarray technology are rapidly changing the way we detect genetic diseases," explained Berry Genomics' CEO Daixing Zhou, who added that this collaboration aims to enable them to "offer complete solutions for prenatal screening and diagnosis."