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July 24, 2013, Shenzhen, China –BGI Health, a subsidiary sequencing application unit of BGI, and ELIPS, a Turkish company committed to providing biochemical products, equipments and services in biology and medical section, today jointly announced that they have entered an collaborative agreement on non-invasive fetal trisomy (NIFTY) test with the aim to significantly improve the local people’s reproductive health in Turkey.
Fetal chromosomal aneuploidy disease is one of the most common birth defects. There are several types of chromosomal aneuploidy that are caused by a change in the number of chromosomes include Down syndrome, Patau syndrome, Edwards syndrome, among others. 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. It will place an intolerable economic burden and adverse affect on their families members. Unfortunately, there is no effective method to cure this disease, but the key is to prevent by prenatal testing.
NIFTY is a blood-based aneuploidy test that analyzes fetal DNA in maternal blood to detect chromosomal Trisomy by next-generation sequencing. 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 and reliable prenatal test results for Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), Trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome), and Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome).
Under the partnership, ELIPS will offer the regional knowledge and distribution network, and BGI will provide the genomic platform as well as sequencing and bioinformatics expertise. The combination of two organizations’ advantages will efficiently detect fetal chromosomal abnormalities in pregnant women and improve reproductive health in Turkey.
Mr. Aykut Baykut, General Manager of ELIPS, said, “NIFTY Project will be top class collaboration business between ELIPS and BGI Europe. We are grateful that we are cooperating with BGI. Everybody knows that Turkish population is one of the largest all over Europe. Regarding this population, delivery number is quite huge which is more than 1,200,000 every year. Therefore, NIFTY test will become vital for Turkish pregnant women. We will be proud if we can contribute to develop Turkish health in this field.”
Dr. Ning Li, Director of BGI Europe, said, “Every pregnant woman has a risk that her fetus might be affected by trisomy 21. The NIFTY technology could serve as a robust tool in the assessment of fetal chromosomal defects and provide the appropriate prenatal counseling and genetic tests. We are very delighted to collaborate with ELIPS to benefit more pregnant women and their families in Turkey. We expect our joint efforts could yield more achievements to significantly promote Turkish reproductive health in the near future.”
About BGI Health
BGI Health is a subsidiary sequencing application unit of BGI, one of the largest genomics organizations in the world with significant contributions to genetic research. The centre applies human genome research achievements to human health, with the aim to establish the 4P healthcare system: Predication, Prevention, Participatory and Personalized healthcare. It focuses on clinical application of genetic testing technologies in order to decrease birth defects and different human diseases.
BGI Europe Health
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