Verinata Health Announces Issuance of Key Patent for Determination of Fetal Aneuploidy
SAN CARLOS, Calif., Sept. 2, 2011 -- Verinata Health, Inc., a privately-held company dedicated to maternal and fetal health, today announced the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 8,008,018 (the '018 patent) to Stanford University. The '018 patent, entitled "Determination of Fetal Aneuploidies by Massively Parallel DNA Sequencing," covers methods for determining the presence or absence of a fetal aneuploidy, or an abnormal number of fetal chromosomes, by analysis of blood samples from pregnant women, which contain both fetal and maternal DNA. The '018 patent belongs to a family of patents including U.S. Patent No. 7,888,017 (the '017 patent), which was granted February 15, 2011. The '017 patent also contains claims directed to the determination of fetal aneuploidies by massively parallel DNA sequencing. Verinata holds an exclusive license to both patents for a field including the determination of fetal aneuploidies by massively parallel DNA sequencing. Both the '017 and '018 patents have a priority date of February 2, 2006, and are based on the pioneering work of Stephen Quake, Professor and Co-Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University.
"As an exclusive licensee for these historic patents, we are pleased that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has recognized this important invention from the Quake laboratory at Stanford that provides the foundation for our first non-invasive prenatal diagnostic test," said Caren L. Mason, Chief Executive Officer of Verinata.
Verinata Health, Inc.
Verinata is driven by a sole, extraordinary purpose – maternal and fetal health. Our initial focus is to develop and offer non-invasive tests for early identification of fetal chromosomal abnormalities using our proprietary technologies. We aim to reduce the anxiety associated with today's multi-step process, the unacceptable false-positive rates, the non-specific and sometimes confusing results of current prenatal screening methods, as well as the risk of current invasive procedures. In support of national guidelines recommending first trimester aneuploidy risk assessment, we believe women who desire such an assessment should be offered a single blood draw test with a definitive result. Verinata is conducting a prospective, blinded pivotal study to clinically validate the sensitivity and specificity of its first prenatal test on a large scale with results of the study expected in 2011. For more information about Verinata, please go to www.verinata.com.