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Sera Prognostics, Inc. Appoints Ilia Ichetovkin, Ph.D. as Vice President of Laboratory Operations

SALT LAKE CITY, Oct. 3, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sera Prognostics, Inc., a women's health company developing diagnostic tests for early prediction of preterm birth and other pregnancy complications, today announced the appointment of Ilia Ichetovkin, Ph.D., as Vice President of Laboratory Operations. Dr. Ichetovkin will lead the development and deployment of Sera's CLIA laboratory services, culminating in the commercial launch of ProNid™, Sera's innovative diagnostic test to predict preterm birth risk.

"We are excited to have Ilia join our core leadership team as we build a world-class CLIA laboratory to run Sera's ProNid™ preterm birth prediction test," said Gregory C. Critchfield, M.D., M.S., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sera Prognostics. "Dr. Ichetovkin is a seasoned laboratory operations professional, with highly relevant experience and a strong scientific management approach for bringing new technologies into practice."

Before joining Sera, Dr. Ichetovkin served for ten years at companies developing and providing novel diagnostic laboratory services in a number of areas of molecular oncology and maternal-fetal health. His experience spans not only CLIA laboratory operations, but also regulatory submissions for FDA-cleared diagnostic products. He has worked as Head of Oncology at Vela Diagnostics, as Head of Clinical Diagnostics and Biomarker Development at Abraxis BioScience, and as Director of U.S. Laboratory Operations with LabCorp Clinical Trials.

"I am delighted to join this team and help build a state-of-the art laboratory that will launch Sera's innovative proteomic testing for preterm birth and other pregnancy-related conditions," said Dr. Ichetovkin. "Building the highest quality testing facility will enable Sera to achieve its mission to improve the health of mothers and newborns, and significantly reduce the costs of maternal-fetal healthcare."

About Preterm Birth

Of the 4.1 million babies born annually in the U.S., approximately one in eight, or 12 percent, is born preterm. Preterm birth is the leading cause of illness and death in newborns and is associated with a significantly increased risk of major long-term medical complications, including learning disabilities, cerebral palsy, chronic respiratory illness, mental retardation, seizures and vision and hearing loss. A study published in 2006 by the Institute of Medicine and the March of Dimes reported that total costs incurred in the U.S. for treating complications of preterm birth exceed $26 billion each year. The complications from preterm birth also extend beyond the first year of life, and generate significant costs throughout the lives of affected children.

About Sera Prognostics, Inc.

Sera Prognostics is a private biotechnology company developing novel diagnostic tests designed to predict preterm birth and other pregnancy complications early in pregnancy, so that personalized effective care can be given. These innovative tests have the potential of improving the health of both mothers and infants. In November 2011, Sera completed a Series A financing round of $19.3 million to develop its ProNid™ preterm birth predictor. The company has assembled a strong management team and Board of Directors with significant clinical development and women's healthcare diagnostic experience. Sera is currently completing the world's largest clinical trial focused on the validation of its ProNid™ test for predicting the risk of preterm birth. Sera is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.seraprognostics.com.

CONTACT: Company Contact: Andrew Sauter, CFO Sera Prognostics, Inc. info@seraprognostics.com (801) 990-0772 Media Contact: Terri Clevenger Continuum Health Communications tclevenger@continuumhealthcom.com (203) 856-4326Source:Sera Prognostics, Inc.