NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Biotech startup KellBenx announced on Monday a licensing agreement with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for three interleukin biomarkers for the development of a blood-based test to predict premature births.
According to the KellBenx, the agreement is the first step to the possible development of a minimally invasive test that can predict preterm delivery early in pregnancy or even before a woman becomes pregnant.
Preterm delivery occurs in about one-eighth of all pregnancies in the US, resulting in more than 1 million cases annually. The primary current diagnostic test for preterm delivery risk is used only in the third trimester. The test that KellBenx is developing is early technology, "but it has exciting possibilities for potentially reducing infant mortality," the company's CEO, Hassan Bennani, said in a statement.
Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Bennani told GenomeWeb Daily News that the test KellBenx is developing will be in an ELISA format, but his firm is "looking at" Illumina's sequencing technology as well as other undisclosed technology.
Headquartered in Massapequa, NY, KellBenx was founded in 2010 and is developing tests to improve women's healthcare.