Latest Advancement in Prenatal Testing Now Available at The Fetal Medicine Centre in London
San Jose, Calif., Oct. 18, 2012 – Through a partnership with The Fetal Medicine Centre, Ariosa DiagnosticsTM has announced the availability of the HarmonyTM Prenatal Test in the United Kingdom. The test analyzes cell-free DNA circulating in maternal blood and allows for a high level of accuracy in detecting fetal trisomies, such as trisomy 21, which causes Down syndrome. The test involves a single, standard blood draw performed as early as 10 weeks’ gestation.
The Fetal Medicine Centre is the first institution to offer the Harmony test outside of North America. Through the partnership, patients can be seen by a healthcare provider at the Fetal Medicine Centre and counseled on the test. The Fetal Medicine Centre is located in central London near Regent’s Park.
“The Harmony test represents a major advancement in prenatal testing, which we are now able to offer to all pregnant women,” says Professor Kypros Nicolaides, Director of the Fetal Medicine Centre. “The test detects more than 99 percent of affected pregnancies, rather than only 90 percent with methods currently used. Additionally, with the use of non-invasive prenatal testing like the Harmony test, only one or two in 1,000 pregnant women will have to undergo an unnecessary invasive procedure, which is a dramatic reduction from the 50 women out of 1,000 who have had to traditionally undergo these types of procedures in the past.”
About The Fetal Medicine Foundation (FMF)
The FMF is a UK Registered Charity that aims to improve the health of pregnant women and their babies through research and training in fetal medicine (www.fetalmedicine.com).
The main source of income to the charity is a private clinic (Fetal Medicine Centre), which donates all profits to the FMF. K Nicolaides provides all services to FMC and FMF free of charge.
In the last 16 years, the FMF has supported research and training in Fetal Medicine through grants to doctors (370 doctors from 50 countries) working at King’s College Hospital for the development of safer techniques for prenatal diagnosis of fetal abnormalities, intrauterine fetal surgery and for the prediction and prevention of miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, preeclampsia and abnormal fetal growth.