NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Molecular diagnostics firm Inex Innovations Exchange announced today that it has exclusively licensed non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) technology from Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology, and Research (A*STAR).
According to Inex, the technology relates to the isolation and genetic analysis of circulating fetal cells from maternal blood, and includes the design and development of semi-automated instruments for the clinical application of NIPT. The company currently offers the iGene line of noninvasive prenatal tests, which analyze a mix of maternal and fetal DNA in maternal blood.
Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Circulating fetal cells are rare in maternal blood, and it has been difficult to isolate them consistently and in large enough quantities from each sample, a challenge that we hope we can overcome with the combination of our encouraging research results to date and the licensing of additional technology from A*STAR," Chang Chia Pin, vice president of research and development at Inex, said in a statement.
In 2015, Inex partnered with A*STAR's Institute of Microelectronics to develop NIPT diagnostics based on the institute's rare cell isolation technology, including a microchip containing a microfabricated filter membrane to isolate and enrich fetal cells found in maternal blood.