PerkinElmer Inc, Waltham, Mass, recently completed its acquisition of Sweden-based Vanadis Diagnostics AB, a molecular diagnostics company that is developing a novel solution for noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) based on digital analysis of cell-free DNA.
The acquisition is anticipated to build upon PerkinElmer’s maternal–fetal health offerings, which provide customers with a full portfolio of traditional serum screening solutions. The Vanadis platform will enable PerkinElmer to offer a simplified, cost-effective, high-throughput approach to NIPT to help facilitate wider access for pregnant women.
Because of the complexity of the tests involved, many prenatal testing labs using traditional biochemistry tests have encountered challenges in successfully implementing NIPT. This has led to limited acceptance of current NIPT technology, which has been adopted mainly by genetics laboratories. The Vanadis offering is based on digital analysis of DNA, and is designed to provide automated testing for routine use by high-throughput biochemistry labs as well as genetics labs.
“While NIPT is becoming increasingly recognized as valuable to many high-risk expectant parents during the first trimester, test complexity and pricing issues have limited the ability of many biochemistry labs to effectively offer this type of prenatal screening,” says Prahlad Singh, president of diagnostics at PerkinElmer. “High capital investment, advanced molecular skills, and complex data handling for lab staff—along with the difficulty of integrating these systems into the existing screening infrastructure—have been barriers to more widespread adoption of NIPT.
“Once available, Vanadis’s simplified NIPT platform should help overcome these obstacles, giving labs a wider range of prenatal testing capabilities and providing important information to physicians and patients,” says Singh. Adding Vanadis’s capabilities to PerkinElmer’s extensive diagnostics portfolio is intended to contribute to better health outcomes through improved detection of fetal chromosomal abnormalities.
PerkinElmer’s diagnostic offerings include prenatal, neonatal, and infectious disease screening, along with molecular diagnostics solutions, through its wide range of instruments, reagents and assay platforms, and software. The company also provides private cord blood and cord tissue preservation to families through ViaCord LLC.
“We founded Vanadis with the mission to make NIPT available to all women, and we developed this technology to fundamentally change the cost structure and workflow for NIPT,” says Olle Ericsson, CEO of Vanadis Diagnostics. “We are confident that with its leading position in prenatal screening, PerkinElmer is best situated to bring this system to market and address the underserved segment of average-risk pregnancies.”
For more information, visit www.perkinelmer.com.