The researchers have developed a new blood test based on DNA-sequencing to screen for Down’s syndrome and related diseases, that they claim it to be dramatically accurate.
According to the study, the new DNA test is 10 times more accurate than standard tests and safer, too. Researchers call it a cell-free DNA test where doctors analyze fetal DNA circulating in the mother’s blood.
The genetic test is currently being marketed by Illumina Inc. of San Diego, California. The firm has also funded the research. A team of researchers found that the genetic test yield much fewer false positives in the 1,914 women tested, compared with the standard serum screening, even as early as 10 weeks into the pregnancy.
The research was published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Market experts say, the new development could open up a $6 billion market to the biotechnology companies that are already marketing these tests. The tests are currently sold by four different companies and their list prices range from $700 to $2500.
According the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, there are 6.6 million pregnancies and 4 million births each year in the United States. Hence, it has big scope of good business in the US market.