Leading London NHS trust teams up with Seneca Portfolio company Premaitha Health to create the UK’s first Centre of Excellence for non-invasive prenatal screening
Premaitha Health plc (“Premaitha”, AIM: NIPT) and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (“St George’s” or “the Trust”) announce today that Premaitha has been awarded the contract to provide its non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT), the IONA® test, to St George’s following a competitive tender process. The Trust, based at St George’s Hospital in South West London, will be the first NHS facility to offer an in-house NIPT screening for pregnant women in the UK. The project award is a three-year contract with options to extend annually.
Non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) is an advanced screening test for pregnant women, using a small blood sample rather than an invasive procedure such as an amniocentisis, the test estimates the risk of a fetus having Down’s syndrome or other serious genetic diseases. Until now, pregnant women in the UK could only access NIPT privately, with blood samples being sent to the US or China. Not only was this costly but carried a waiting time of up to two weeks which is a long time when parents may need to make decisions about their pregnancies.
The IONA® test is the first CE-marked in vitro diagnostic (IVD) product for NIPT. It uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to estimate the risk of a fetus having serious genetic disorders such as Down syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edward syndrome (Trisomy 18) and Patau syndrome (Trisomy 13) by analysing cell-free fetal DNA from a sample of maternal blood.
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