Claremont Creek Ventures portfolio company Gene Security Network (GSN) achieved a technical breakthrough that even Dear Abby can crow about. Never before, have scientists and clinicians been about to measure fetal DNA in a pregnant woman's blood with enough accuracy to determine paternity or relevant information about the baby in utero — until now. If you are curious why this service might be helpful, see Dear Abby's recent column below.
In July, Gene Security launched its fourth prenatal diagnostic product together with DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC), the largest paternity testing company in North America, and early results are blowing away initial optimistic forecasts. The commercial launch of GSN's first non-invasive prenatal test powered by the company's proprietary bioinformatics technology, parental support™.
Parental Support combines single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) technology with advanced bioinformatics algorithms to generate highly accurate genetic information from small amounts of free-floating fetal DNA found in the mother's blood. Non-invasive prenatal testing is completely safe for mother and fetus and replaces current invasive tests, such as amniocentesis, which can be dangerous to the pregnancy.
GSN's products allow parents to prevent birth defects, genetic disorders, miscarriage, and determine paternity noninvasively. This is a company to watch.
SON'S PREGNANT GIRLFRIEND HAS DAD EXPECTING TROUBLE
DEAR ABBY: My son's girlfriend is pregnant. I think there is a chance it may not be his, although she claims it is. “Ben” met “Christy,” and a little over a week later she announced she was pregnant. She's now 34 weeks into the pregnancy.
I have asked him repeatedly if he is sure the baby is his and he says yes, but the math doesn't seem right to me. I have suggested Ben seek a paternity test, but I don't think he's going to take my advice.
I am not the only person who is questioning this, and I feel terrible for having the doubt. He has asked Christy to marry him and she accepted. I couldn't believe it. They were going to marry that same month, but when Ben mentioned a prenuptial agreement to protect the real estate and other property he owns (and that I'm financially involved in), Christy blew up! She just about kicked Ben to the curb. Now, thankfully, the wedding is postponed. Christy's overboard reaction has added to my suspicion. What do you think, Abby?
— SUSPICIOUS DAD IN RHODE ISLAND
DEAR DAD: I agree that before your son marries Christy, everything should be out in the open. Regardless of whose child she is carrying, your son may be in love with her and it may not matter to him. If the child is indeed his, a paternity test would lay any doubts to rest.
That said, I spoke with my gynecologist and asked how long after conception it would take for a pregnancy to show up in a test, and was told the answer is one week after a woman's period is late. For Ben not to insist on having a prenuptial agreement under these circumstances would be a mistake, and I hope he will reconsider.
Paternity Test While Pregnant is Now Possible With DDC's New Test
August 16, 2011
DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC) is proud to announce the most innovative test of its kind in the last decade—the first non-invasive prenatal paternity test using SNP (single-nucleotide polymorphism) Microarray Technology, which requires only a simple blood draw from the mother and alleged father.
As the exclusive licensee for this test, DDC's Chief Science Officer, Dr. Michael Baird, has been spearheading this initiative. In fact, Dr. Baird confirms, the new test is 100 percent safe for the developing fetus, 99.9 percent accurate, is performed in a CLIA-certified laboratory (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments) and results are available within five business days.
The test, called ‘The DDC® Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test,' is available now online or by calling 1-800-Call-DDC (1-800-225-5332).
According to Dr. Baird, the use of SNP Microarray Technology is “groundbreaking, innovative technology” using over 317,000 genetic markers and bioinformatics to determine paternity.
“The DDC® Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test provides an alternative for people seeking paternity results prior to the baby's birth,” Dr. Baird stated, “replacing paternity tests that utilize procedures such as amniocentesis, which are invasive and carry risks for the mother and the child. What makes this new test extraordinary is that it uses ‘cell free circulating' fetal DNA found in the mother's blood, which is stabilized with a proprietary reagent, combined with the analysis of 317,000 genetic markers. That means the DNA we analyze is only the DNA from the fetus, and not lingering DNA found in the mother's system from previous pregnancies. With this technology, the DDC® Non-Invasive Prenatal Test is by far the most significant innovation in paternity testing in the last decade.”
Peter Vitulli, CEO of DDC and the executive responsible for securing the exclusive license from Gene Security Network (GSN), a privately held genetic company, said, “The DDC® Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test will change the face of the prenatal DNA market. We know that mothers around the world will take comfort in the safety and convenience of the test, and potential fathers—who remarkably comprise nearly 50 percent of our customer base—will also find closure at an early stage of the pregnancy.”
Gene Security Network (GSN), was founded in 2004 by President and CEO Matthew Rabinowitz, Ph.D. GSN's Dr. Rabinowitz added, “DDC leads the industry in providing accurate and reliable paternity testing. We are honored to partner exclusively with them for the U.S. consumer market. Our bioinformatics technology is used in a range of cutting-edge clinical diagnostic tests involving tiny quantities of DNA—as little as that from a single cell. This unique technology is now being applied to tiny traces of fetal DNA found in a pregnant mother's blood to reach an accurate conclusion regarding paternity, without incurring any risk to the pregnancy.”
The validation of the technology for single cell genetic testing has been published in the journal Human Reproduction and it is used at over one hundred in-vitro fertilization centers and hospitals around the world. The technology has now been validated on cell free circulating DNA for paternity testing. That data has been submitted to AABB for certification and is also being prepared for submission to a peer reviewed journal. Additionally a recent gender report published by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) details a new technology used in determining the gender of a baby by detecting DNA from the fetus that floats freely in a pregnant women's blood, substantiates DDC's new test. Read more here.
Gene Security Network Launches First Non-Invasive Prenatal Test Powered by Company's Bioinformatics Technology
Company's Technology Combines Latest Innovations in genomics and Statistics to Generate Highly Accurate Results from Small Amounts of DNA
August 18, 2011
Gene Security Network Inc. (GSN) today announced the commercial launch of its first non-invasive prenatal test powered by the company's proprietary bioinformatics technology, Parental Support™.
“The application of advanced statistics to non-invasive prenatal testing enables us to deliver highly accurate information to expecting parents safely and early in the pregnancy”
Parental Support combines single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) technology with advanced bioinformatics algorithms to generate highly accurate genetic information from small amounts of free-floating fetal DNA found in the mother's blood. Non-invasive prenatal testing is completely safe for mother and fetus and replaces current invasive tests, such as amniocentesis, which can be dangerous to the pregnancy. Use of the technology to determine paternity has been licensed to a partner.
“The application of advanced statistics to non-invasive prenatal testing enables us to deliver highly accurate information to expecting parents safely and early in the pregnancy,” said Matthew Rabinowitz, Ph.D., CEO of GSN. “
This approach eliminates the current choice between screening tests that are invasive and those that are unreliable. Today's launch is an important milestone for GSN as we work toward launching our non-invasive prenatal diagnostic test, based on the same technology, for Down syndrome and other genetic disorders. We are currently initiating a large, prospective clinical trial, the first trial of its kind to be funded by the National Institutes of Health, with the leading maternal fetal medicine centers in the United States to assess the efficacy.”
DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC), the world's largest provider of DNA paternity tests, has exclusively licensed the technology for the U.S. consumer market and is distributing the newly-launched test under the name ‘DDC's Non-Invasive Prenatal Paternity Test.'
About Gene Security Network (GSN)
GSN is a genetic testing company that has developed a proprietary bioinformatics technology (Parental Support) to deliver accurate and comprehensive high throughput testing for reproductive indications from tiny quantities of DNA – as small as that from a single cell. GSN operates a CLIA laboratory in Redwood City, Calif., providing a host of preconception and prenatal genetic testing services. Test offerings include preimplantation genetic diagnosis to analyze chromosomal anomalies or inherited genetic conditions during an IVF cycle in order to select embryos with the highest probability of becoming healthy children; products of conception testing following miscarriage to rapidly and extensively analyze fetal chromosomes in order to understand the cause; and non-invasive prenatal diagnosis, currently under clinical trial, to detect chromosomal anomalies by analyzing fragments of fetal DNA in a pregnant mother's blood. For more information, visit www.genesecurity.net.