Verinata Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of
), introduced a new test option for its non-invasive verifi
prenatal test. Physicians will now be able to use the test on
women pregnant with twins. This is applicable either way, for
conception through natural or assisted reproductive methods. The
twins option for the verifi prenatal test will be accessible to
physicians Oct 21 onwards.
The verifi prenatal test for twins is designed to detect serious
abnormalities like those of Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome), Trisomy
18 (Edwards syndrome), and Trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome) and the
presence of a Y chromosome in the fetuses.
The verifi prenatal test was authenticated using a large twin
population study that covered around 100 maternal samples, more
than any other non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) method. NIPT
tests DNA present in a pregnant woman's blood to detect fetal
Among the commonly noted abnormalities, Trisomy 21 is the most
prevalent at-birth aneuploidy, and a frequent cause of mental
retardation. Others, including Trisomies 13 and 18, are
associated with significant clinical morbidity and a high
neonatal mortality rate. The majority of chromosomal aneuploidies
are non-viable, leading to early miscarriage, while some may
continue into the post-natal period and beyond.
The new test makes use of algorithms validated through an
analysis of 115 maternal plasma samples from twin pregnancies,
with all instances of aneuploidy detected. The verifi prenatal
test with twins option successfully detected all cases of Down
syndrome (trisomy 21) and Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) in the
samples. The test also revealed the samples which indicated the
presence of the Y-chromosome.
Armed with algorithms that optimize detection of chromosomal
abnormalities, the verifi prenatal test has the ability to
deliver lower fetal fraction in twins. This ensures greater
accuracy and reliability of results, and a resulting
industry-low, test failure rate of 0.07%.
Twin pregnancies are on the rise in U.S., as studies showed that
twins account for almost 1 among 30 live birth-pregnancies. The
National Center for Health Statistics estimated an increase of
76% in twins-birth between 1980 and 2009.
It has been further observed that as a woman ages, chances of
releasing more than one egg per menstrual cycle also increase. As
the current generation becomes increasingly focused on their jobs
and careers, family planning begins at a later stage than
As a result, women above 30 account for one-third of twin
pregnancies. Assisted reproduction techniques, where more than
one embryo is often transferred into the womb following in vitro
fertilization, account for much of the remaining rise in twin
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Under such circumstances, an expanding patient population (women
pregnant with twins) will help Illumina to garner growth going
forward. This newly added feature of early identification of
abnormalities in twin fetuses will provide parents sufficient
time in advance to consider reproductive options.
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