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Two US firms partner to develop new blood test to identify women at risk for preterm birth

Published 01 August 2016

US-based molecular diagnostics firm NxGEN MDx has collaborated with NX Prenatal to develop a blood test to evaluate pregnancy biomarkers of preterm birth risk.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The partnership will use NX Prenatal's exosome-associated biomarkers from maternal blood and NxGEN MDx's comprehensive genetic screening solutions to develop the new test.

According to the company, the preterm birth affects up to one in eight US pregnancies leading to nearly half a million preterm births each year, costing families and insurers an estimated $26bn.

NxGEN MDx CEO Alan Mack said: "We are excited to partner with the innovative NX Prenatal team. Our combined efforts are designed to identify which pregnant women are at risk for delivering prematurely as early as possible.”

Nx Prenatal co-CEO Brian Brohman said: "Our proprietary NeXosome Platform has the potential to identify women at risk for preterm birth as early as 10 weeks gestation — dramatically improving upon the 20+ week usefulness of current tests."

Based in Grand Rapids of Michigan, NxGEN MDx provides genetic screening services to detect genetic diseases or abnormalities, helping couples to take family planning decisions.

Located in Louisville of Kentucky, NX Prenatal is engaged in developing diagnostic assays for adverse pregnancy outcomes and conditions such as preterm birth.

The company has discovered a new library of biomarkers for prenatal risk assessment as early as ten weeks' gestation.