Pre-eclampsia test development

Wednesday, 10 August, 2005 | Supplied by:

Beckman Coulter has announced it has signed a licensing agreement with Nephromics, LLC. The agreement provides Beckman Coulter access to all Nephromics' patents, patent applications and biologics related to the detection, monitoring and risk assessment of pre-eclampsia, which is the second leading cause of maternal deaths in the developed world.

Currently, there are no specific in vitro diagnostic tests for pre-eclampsia. Through this licensing agreement, Beckman Coulter plans to develop new immunoassay tests designed to improve the outcomes in certain at-risk pregnancies.

Pre-eclampsia, characterised by hypertension and protein in the urine, occurs in up to 10% of all pregnancies in the developed world. During pre-eclampsia, the fetus is at risk from reduced placental blood circulation and function. The condition may result in premature birth, low birth weight and respiratory distress syndrome. For the mother, pre-eclampsia can mean seizures, brain, liver or other organ damage, even death. With early detection, it may be possible to provide treatment to prevent serious complications.

The Nephromics technology is based, in part, on reagents supplied by R&D Systems. In 2003, Beckman Coulter entered into an agreement with R&D Systems for the development and manufacture of automated cytokine assays and assay components designed for Beckman Coulter's Access family of immunoassay systems.

The new tests are being designed for use on Beckman Coulter's Access family of immunoassay systems - including the UniCel Dxl 800 analyser - as well as the Synchron LXi 725 chemistry-immunoassay system.

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