Eastern Biotech & Life Sciences seminar on "Non Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis of Trisomies and Other Monogenic Disorders" was held in the Novotel Hotel, World Trade Center, Dubai, on the 21st of March 2013. The objective of the seminar is to bring research and best practice to the attention of a wide range of practitioners, especially Gynecologists.

Non-Invasive Prenatal Diagnostic Test is a revolutionary test to UAE to detect Trisomy, a genetic mutation that leads to Down's syndrome. This new diagnostic test that detects Cell Free Fetal DNA in the maternal blood is set to become the new paradigm in the accurate detection of Down's syndrome in early pregnancy. The accuracy of the new test in larger studies reaches 99.9% making this new diagnostic modality the most accurate diagnostic test available. Using Next Generation Sequencing ( NGS), which is the state of the art genetic sequencing technology available to date, this genetic test now makes it possible to predict as early as 11 weeks, if the fetus that is in the womb is carrying the genetic mutation that leads to Down's Syndrome.

The seminar was attended by Chief Guest Dr. Hafeez Ur Rahman, well known Gynaecologist and Chairman of International Modern Hospital Dubai and eminent speakers of the region including Dr. Sanjida Ahmed, Research Director, Eastern Biotech and Life Sciences, Dr. Ying Liu, BGI Asia Pacific and Dr. Ajit Shyam Kanbur spoke on the clinical utility of the new technology and Dr. Amala Nazareeth presented case studies in relation to the use of application of the test in routine clinical practice. Miss Sonika Sachanandani, an Australian qualified in-house genetic counselor of Eastern Biotech, emphasized the importance of Genetic Counseling in this new age of genetic diagnosis. The very highly technical discussion with active participation of the attendees made the event a great success.

The Gynecologists concluded that following indications to consider for the use of cell-free fetal DNA:

a). Maternal age 35 years or older at delivery
b). Fetal ultrasonographic findings indicating an increased risk of aneuplouidy
c). History of a prior pregnancy with a trisomy
d). Positive test result for aneuaploidy, including first trimester, sequential, or intergrated screen, or a quadruple screen
e). Parental balanced robertsonian translocation with increased risk of fetal trisomy 13 or trisomy 21

Eastern Biotech & Life Sciences is teamed with BGI Health, China to offer TriGene test (NIPD analysis), globally marketed as NIFTY by BGI Health. The advantages and applications of TriGene Test are:

1]. The test is designed for the prenatal detection of fetal trisomies of 21, 18, 13 and cases of other chromosomal aneuploidies with the new generation of high-throughput sequencing technology, combined with advanced bioinformatics analysis.

2]. All Patients at risk of aneuploidy can be offered testing with cell free fetal DNA. This technology can identify approximately 99.9% of cases of Down syndrome with a false-positive rate of less than 0.03% and NO false negatives.

3]. TriGen is done as early as 12 weeks of pregnancy allowing the patients to have enough time for a better decision.

4]. The TAT of the test is 10 days

5]. Pretest counseling is included with a review that although the cell free fetal DNA test is not a diagnostic test, it has high sensitivity and specificity.

6]. Post test counseling is offered to the patients with a charge of AED 500. However, Eastern Biotech is offering the service FREE of CHARGE till the end of April.

7]. A patient with a positive test result will be referred for genetic counseling and offered invasive prenatal diagnosis for confirmation of test results.

8]. A family history is obtained before the use of this test to determine if the patient should be offered other forms of screening or prenatal diagnosis for familial genetic disease.

9]. Each False negative result is accompanied with a insurance of $35,000 in case the result is wrong and the pregnancy results in a baby with Down syndrome while the test was reported as Negative.

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