19 Feb 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Singapore's Inex Innovations Exchange, a fetal health diagnostics company, signed a distribution agreement for iGeneScreen Prenatal Test in Australia with Primary Health Care (PHC). The agreement covers all the territories and major cities in Australia, including Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.
iGeneScreen is a non-invasive prenatal blood test that detects Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) and Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) with 99 percent accuracy. It is a non-invasive screening test requiring only a 10ml blood sample from pregnant women at 12 weeks gestation.
This represents a major step forward over the current invasive amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling that most "at risk" pregnant mothers are offered to take. Current routine prenatal testing methods such as the Nuchal Translucency Scan and Triple Test have high false positive and false negative rates. Primary Health Care through its network of practices is one of Australia's largest pathology providers with approximately 100 pathology laboratories, and 1,500 collection centers around the country. The agreement will allow patients to access this testing service through Primary's laboratories.
"This Agreements signals our progress in facilitating the adoption of an important test in the Australian market. We are delighted that pregnant mothers can now have access to a non-invasive prenatal test, and that they no longer have to endure the stresses associated with existing prenatal tests," said Dr Sidney Yee, executive director of Inex. "We look forward to working closely with Primary Health Care to launching the test across major cities in Australia in the coming months."
Announcing the agreement, Dr Narelle Hadlow, a pathologist at Primary Health Care's Western Australian pathology practice said, "Today's announcement is another significant step forward in our practice's aim to provide better health care insights to doctors so as to improve the care of their patients. The reach that our laboratory network can provide patients will ensure that this innovative technology will be available to pregnant mothers nationwide."