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Shenzhen, China, September 24, 2012 – BGI, the world’s largest genomics organization, announced that it and INEX Innovations Exchange Pte Ltd (INEX), a leading women’s health diagnostics company based in Singapore, have formed a partnership to establish a Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) facility in Singapore to offer a suite of molecular genetics tests, starting with a non-invasive fetal trisomy (NIFTY) test to detect fetal chromosomal abnormalities in pregnant women. The signing ceremony was attended by Ye Yin, COO of BGI, Sidney Yee, Executive Director of INEX, among others.
Currently, 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. Patients with fetal chromosomal aneuploidy tend to have some impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth as well as abnormal appearance, including facial features, limbs, internal organs, among others. 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 blood test that analyzes fetal DNA in maternal blood to detect chromosomal abnormalities. It is a non-invasive screening test requiring only a 5ml blood sample from pregnant women at 12 weeks or later, and it provides highly accurate prenatal test results for Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), Trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome), and Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome).
Regarding to this exciting partnership, Sidney Yee, said, “We are extremely excited at the prospect of embarking on this relationship with BGI. It is a mutually beneficial partnership in that BGI will provide the molecular genomic facility and a wealth of sequencing and bioinformatics expertise, and we will offer the technical infrastructure, regional knowledge and distribution network.”
“Singapore will be the first location in Asia outside of China offering such a test. The facility is poised to be a Centre-of-Excellence facility that receives and processes tests from South Asia, the Middle-east, and Australasia. 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, so we are confident that it will be well received by all pregnant women,” she continued.
Ye Yin stated, "BGI is delighted to partner with INEX to jointly establish the NGS facility in Singapore. As the largest sequencing institute in the world, BGI is offering this non-invasive prenatal test with breakthroughs in bioinformatics analysis. To-date, we have performed over 60,000 tests. This new state-of-the-art facility here in Singapore is an important next step for BGI, as Singapore is renowned for its robust regulatory framework, highly-skilled molecular technologists, and its excellent reputation for translational research and medical diagnostics. Furthermore, INEX’s long experience and research innovation in molecular diagnostics makes it a natural choice for us to partner with here in Singapore. With this joint facility, we are looking forward to extending our influence and offerings within the sphere of medical genomics and medical diagnostics in the Asia-Pacific region. The facility in Singapore is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2013.”
About INEX Innovations Exchange Pte Ltd (INEX)
INEX - Innovations Exchange - was established in Singapore in June 2006 with the aim of becoming Asia’s foremost Women’s Health Molecular Diagnostics Company. We develop and distribute novel medical devices and diagnostics that save the lives and better the health of women throughout the world. For more information, please visit: http://www.inex.sg/WhoWeAre.htm