This article has been updated to note that Quest Diagnostics is also supporting the PQF's educational program.
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Sequenom is supporting an initiative by the Perinatal Quality Foundation (PQF) to develop an educational program around prenatal testing for healthcare professionals and their patients, the company said today.
The goal of the program is to develop a standardized education and credentialing process for healthcare personnel providing pre- and post-testing information and to generate tools and educational resources to help pregnant women make better-informed genetic testing decisions.
In recent years, prenatal genetic testing has rapidly expanded with noninvasive prenatal testing of cell-free DNA, more comprehensive carrier screening, and chromosomal microarray analysis. The program will include a Genetic Education Module that aims to advance the understanding and appropriate use of these new technologies through educational tools and resources.
"This PQF program promises to bridge a major knowledge gap in the rapidly evolving prenatal testing field," Daniel Grosu, chief medical officer of Sequenom, said in a statement. He called the program a "landmark educational initiative, which will support informed and responsible use of innovative pregnancy management approaches, such as NIPT."
Sequenom is not the first company sponsoring the program. Quest Diagnostics said in July that it was supporting the PQF's initiative through a grant. At the time, Quest said the educational campaign will include an online patient registry, through which women who receive prenatal screening during pregnancy may report results of confirmatory diagnostic tests and postpartum outcomes. These data will enable researchers to determine the positive and negative predictive value of NIPT-based screening for common aneuploidies.
According to Sequenom, the educational initiative will include websites for patients and healthcare personnel, and the Genetic Educational Module is scheduled to launch early next year.