BGI Health, one of BGI’s affiliates, established a partnership with Eastern Biotech & Life Sciences, a biotechnology company based in Dubai, on the project of introducing non-invasive fetal trisomy (NIFTY) test to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in the Middle East.
Fetal chromosomal aneuploidy disease is one of the most common birth defects, the leading cause of death for infants during the first year of life, such as Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), Trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome), and Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome). It will place an intolerable economic burden and adverse affect on their family members. Unfortunately, there is no effective method to cure this disease, but the key is to prevent by prenatal testing.
NIFTY is a new paradigm that can detect cell-free fetal DNA in the maternal blood with an accuracy of 99.9% in the detection of Down’s syndrome as early as in 12 weeks of pregnancy. This non-invasive prenatal test in the first trimester of pregnancy has huge advantages in its high accuracy and sensitivity without posing any risk to the fetus, which has been widely accepting by pregnant women.
Dr. Faruq Badiuddin, Chairman of Eastern Biotech & Life Sciences, said, “I believe that this product launch is just the start of a long association with BGI to bring many more cost-effective genetic diagnostic products to the region.”
“We are hoping to work with BGI in larger projects that involve other genetic disorders, especially cancer genetics, monogenic disorders, and thalassemia, which has a very high incidence in the region”, he continued.
Dr. Ying Liu, Marketing Director of BGI Asia-Pacific, said, “With the fast development of next-gen sequencing (NGS), genetic testing is now becoming more and more cost affordable and widely acceptable. We are so pleased to have a collaboration with Eastern Biotech on NIFTY test, which is truly believed to bring huge convenience to all the pregnant women in the Middle East to have a health baby. We are looking forward to having deep collaborations with Eastern Biotech and further benefit local people’s healthcare.”
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