NEWARK, Calif., Sept. 24, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CellScape Corp, a molecular diagnostics company developing the first noninvasive prenatal genetic test using fetal cells from maternal blood, today announced that Bhairavi Parikh, Ph.D., CellScape's Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, will present at the Cambridge Healthtech Institute's Advances in Prenatal Diagnostics Conference taking place in Boston on Tuesday, September 24 at 10:45 AM ET.
"This conference brings together the top leaders in the field of prenatal testing to discuss the latest advances and we are pleased that CellScape's unique approach for isolating fetal blood cells obtained from maternal circulation will be featured," said Ted Snelgrove, Chief Executive Officer of CellScape. "The market for non-invasive screening during early pregnancy has changed significantly over the past 2 years, with the introduction of cell-free technologies that test for anomalies in whole chromosomes. Access to whole cells will allow us to further advance the field by introducing a noninvasive test that will detect a wider range of anomalies similar to that provided by the gold standard of invasive testing."
CellScape has developed a proprietary fetal cell technology which enables it to isolate fetal cells specific to a woman's current pregnancy from a simple maternal blood draw. By isolating these cells, CellScape can access the pure and complete fetal genome and use targeted Chromosomal Microarray Analysis (CMA) to detect prenatally relevant cytogenetic abnormalities. The ClarityTM Prenatal Test will transform prenatal genetic testing by allowing doctors to assess more abnormalities noninvasively and therefore, earlier and more safely.
Dr. Parikh will discuss CellScape's approach for isolating fetal cells and will provide examples of array analysis performed on fetal cells extracted through CellScape's proprietary process. Dr. Parikh will also discuss the importance of chromosomal microarrays to assess copy number variants which can cause clinical syndromes relevant for prenatal testing.
A panel of leading experts in the field of prenatal molecular diagnostics, including several of CellScape's advisors -- Ronald Wapner, M.D., Director of Reproductive Genetics and Vice Chair of Research, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Columbia University Medical Center, Art Beaudet, M.D., Chair, Department of Molecular & Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, and David Ledbetter, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and CSO, Geisinger Health System -- will discuss the recent changes in the prenatal molecular diagnostic landscape and anticipated advances in the next three to five years.
About the Clarity™ Prenatal Genetic Test
The Clarity Test uses chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA) of fetal DNA to detect a large but targeted set of known genetic disorders that currently cannot be detected without invasive testing. CMA is already used by many laboratories to analyze DNA from fetal cells collected via invasive procedures because the higher resolution of CMA enables detection of far more abnormalities than karyotyping; CellScape's innovation will make this technology available to women earlier and noninvasively. In addition to all trisomies, the Clarity Test will detect the majority of chromosomal duplication and deletion syndromes (copy number variants, CNVs) identified as prenatally relevant by groups such as the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) and the International Standards for Cytogenomic Arrays (ISCA) Consortium. In a recent study sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), it was shown that these syndromes, collectively, occur at a rate 4x higher than trisomies.
About CellScape Corporation
CellScape Corporation is an innovative molecular diagnostics company developing a more comprehensive and safe prenatal testing solution for women. CellScape's proprietary Fetal Cell Technology will enable accurate detection of a wide range of fetal chromosomal and single-gene disorders, reduce unnecessary invasive testing and identify women who may benefit from in-utero therapy. For additional information, please visit www.cellscapecorp.com.