SALT LAKE CITY, May 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sera Prognostics, Inc., a women’s health company, today announced that it was selected as the 2016 Utah Innovation Award winner in the Life Science – BioTech category for its novel PreTRM® test, a clinical blood test for early, individualized risk assessment of premature birth. The winners were announced at the 14th annual Utah Innovation Awards presented by Stoel Rives, LLP and the Utah Technology Council held on May 11, 2016, at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center.
The PreTRM test, now commercially available nationwide, is the first and only clinically validated blood test of its kind, based on a large prospective clinical study that is representative of single birth pregnancies occurring in the U.S.
“It is an honor for Sera’s talented team to be recognized along with this year’s other companies that exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit of Utah,” stated Gregory C. Critchfield, M.D. chairman and CEO of Sera Prognostics. “Sera is focused on addressing the enormous economic and healthcare burden that premature birth places on infants, their families and society. Until now, physicians have had few options to identify women who are at increased risk of premature birth, as evidenced by the fact that approximately 50 percent of premature deliveries occur in women with no known risk factors. The innovative research behind the PreTRM test has helped us create an early, accurate and individualized assessment tool that enables physicians to make more informed decisions with their patients in managing the risks of women who need greater attention. We believe that this technology will not only benefit newborn health in the U.S., but also will have a substantial impact in reducing the frequency and severity of prematurity worldwide.”
Premature birth, defined as birth before 37 weeks, occurs globally in 15 million pregnancies each year, with one million deaths occurring from complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the March of Dimes, each year in the United States, approximately one in ten babies are born too early. Preterm birth is the leading cause of illness and death in newborns and is associated with significantly increased risk of major long-term medical complications, including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, chronic respiratory illness, intellectual disability, seizures, and vision and hearing loss. The costs of treating complications of premature birth in the U.S. were greater than $26 billion in 2005, according to the March of Dimes, with current costs estimated to be much higher. The burden of prematurity is even more severe in low income countries. Sera is working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop technologies that can benefit the health of women and their infants in underserved regions of the world.
The annual Utah Innovation Awards is a statewide program designed to recognize innovations and the Utah companies that created them. The competition involved more than 100 companies in technology and life sciences. More than 80 experts representing Utah’s private industry, government and academic communities reviewed the selections and voted on winners and finalists in each category.
“Sera Prognostics is a great example of the scientific innovation happening in Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah,” stated R. Whitney Johnson, Partner at Stoel Rives. “With its advanced research techniques and robust strategy, Sera developed the PreTRM test to address the severe consequences of prematurity and is now poised to help physicians reduce the impact of preterm birth for mothers and their babies.”
About the PreTRM® Test
The PreTRM test is an innovative new blood test that provides an early and individual risk prediction for spontaneous preterm birth in asymptomatic, singleton pregnancies. The PreTRM test can help physicians identify early in the pregnancy (during weeks 19 and 20 of gestation) which women are at increased risk for premature delivery, enabling more informed management decisions based on each women’s individual risk. Using proteomic technology, the PreTRM test measures and analyzes proteins in the blood that are predictive of preterm birth. Better understanding of the proteins expressed in pregnancy may lead to understanding the causes of preterm birth and making further advancements in prolonging gestational age and improving newborn outcomes.
For more information about the PreTRM® test, please visit www.PreTRM.com and the PreTRM test YouTube Channel. You can also join the conversation on Facebook and @PreTRM.
About Sera Prognostics, Inc.
Sera Prognostics is a private biotechnology company developing innovative diagnostic tests for the early prediction of preterm birth risk and other pregnancy complications. Sera's tests are designed to help better inform the care of a mother and her unborn child during pregnancy, and potentially lead to improved health. The Company has assembled a strong management team and Board of Directors with significant clinical development and women's healthcare diagnostic experience. The Company is supported by a strong group of investors, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Chione, Ltd, Domain Associates, InterWest Partners, Catalyst Health Ventures, UpStart Life Sciences Capital, and Osage University Partners. Sera Prognostics is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, please visit the Company's website at www.seraprognostics.com.
Company Contact: Andrew Sauter, CFO Sera Prognostics, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org (801) 990-0772 Media Contact for Sera Prognostics Terri Clevenger Continuum Health Communications email@example.com (203) 856-4326
Source:Sera Prognostics, Inc.