LifeCell Launches 'Pentastic' - a Prenatal Test to Detect Genetic Abnormalities in Fetus

Thursday, May 31, 2018 Genetics & Stem Cells News
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CHENNAI, May 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

- First in India

to launch biochemical test based on five analytes offering high detection rates

LifeCell, India's premier mother and baby diagnostics company and stem cell bank, today launched 'Pentastic' -

an ultrasound and biochemistry based blood test undertaken in the first trimester of pregnancy between 11 to 13 weeks, 6 days to screen for genetic abnormalities, structural malformations in the fetus and serious high blood pressure in pregnancy. 

     (Logo: http://mma.prnewswire.com/media/542620/LifeCell_Logo.jpg )

- Trisomy 21 leading to Down syndrome occurring in 1 per 800 births - Trisomy 18 leading to Edwards' syndrome occurring in 1 per 8,000 births, and - Trisomy 13 leading to Patau syndrome affecting 1 per 16,000 births

Compared to conventional screening tests that use only 2 analytes [PAPP-A + free hCGß], the new Pentastic test incorporates 5 analytes [PAPP-A + free hCGß + AFP + Inhibin-A + PIGF] to predict the risk. Addition of these new analytes can significantly improve the detection of these abnormalities whilst simultaneously lowering the number of false alarms raised.[1] This would lead to substantial improvements in health outcomes whilst providing a higher level of reassurance for expectant parents.

The screening will be performed on a platform accredited by Fetal Medical Foundation (FMF), the flagship international organisation for fetal diagnostics.

Another significant advantage of the Pentastic test is that it helps in detecting Pre-eclampsia (developing <37 weeks) in the first trimester. This is a medical condition that increases the risk both for mother and the baby during pregnancy. Some symptoms of preeclampsia may include high blood pressure and protein in the urine, occurring after week 20 of pregnancy. Conventional biochemical screening and even advanced DNA-based tests such as NIPT (Non-invasive prenatal testing) do not help in identifying this condition. Importantly, early detection facilitates early treatment which is important for the safety and psychology of the parents.

From a cost perspective too, the Pentastic test offers almost the same detection rate as NIPT, 98% compared to 99.5%, but is available at a significantly lower cost than NIPT [estimated at ~80% lesser].

Mayur Abhaya, Managing Director, Lifecell, said, "Pentastic Penta Marker Screening would provide very high detection rate of 98% with low false positive rate of 1.2% as against the current combined screening test which offers a much lower detection rate and a false positive rate upward of 5%. Hence this test would lead to substantially lower parental anxiety, by helping them make more accurate informed decisions with access to reliable and affordable tests. It's imperative that universal screening for chromosomal disorders are now made available in India through policy making as in other nations."

On this occasion Prof. Dr. Ashok Khurana, President, Society of Fetal Medicine, said, "First Trimester Penta Screening is a significant improvement over conventional combined test screening (Double Marker Screening tests) because it potentially reduces the need for follow-up invasive testing, thus reducing costs and risks. It addresses several complications of the fetus and mother, including the commonest congenital cause of mental disability (Down syndrome), commonest structural defects (Open Neural Tube Defects), and the most life-threatening blood pressure disorder in pregnancy (Preeclampsia). Early diagnosis and treatment facilitated by the tests makes pregnancy considerably safer."

Down syndrome (DS), also called trisomy 21, where extra genetic material causes delays in child development, both mentally and physically, is one of the most common genetic birth disorders. Down Syndrome (DS) is associated with mild to moderate learning disabilities, mental milestone delays, typical facial features and low muscle tone in early infancy. Patau syndrome also called trisomy 13 is caused by a chromosomal abnormality, in which the cells in the body contain extra genetic material from chromosome 13 that disrupts normal development, causing multiple and complex organ defects. Edwards' syndrome, also known as trisomy 18, is a genetic disorder in which many parts of the body are affected and babies are often born small and have heart, kidney and skeletal defects. Sadly, most babies with Edwards'syndrome will die before or shortly after being born.

About LifeCell  

LifeCell, established in 2004, is India's leading provider of preventive healthcare services for mother and baby wellness and healthcare solutions such as stem cell banking and diagnostic services. With facilities at Chennai and Gurgaon and a network spanning over 200 cities in India and abroad, over 3,00,000 lakh parents have trusted LifeCell for its services.

LifeCell's umbilical cord stem cell banking, a community-based approach towards stem cell access, is a global first initiative that aims to provide families in India better future access to stem cells than even currently possible in advanced countries such as the U.S.

As a comprehensive provider of preventive and diagnostic healthcare services, LifeCell presents a complete panel of pre and post-natal diagnostic tests including maternal infectious diseases test, prenatal screening and newborn screening. Through these services, LifeCell aims to provide complete wellness for the mother and baby ensuring healthy pregnancy and healthy newborns.

For more info: Visit us at: http://www.lifecell.in

Reference: 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28613385

Media Contact: Krithika Narayanan krithika.n@lifecell.in +91-9841779699 DGM - Content & Communication LifeCell International Pvt Ltd



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