DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES--(Marketwire - Feb 14, 2013) - NewBridge Pharmaceuticals, a specialty therapeutics company commercializing pharmaceuticals, biologics, diagnostics and medical devices across the AfMET region (Middle East, Africa, Turkey & Caspian regions), today announced that the company has established an exclusive agreement with Verinata Health, Inc., a market leader in maternal and fetal health, to expand access to Verinata's verifi® test, the most comprehensive non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) currently available for high-risk pregnancies.
The verifi® prenatal test is performed in Verinata's CLIA-certified, California laboratory using a single maternal blood draw as early as 10 weeks of pregnancy to detect multiple fetal chromosomal aneuploidies (an abnormal number of chromosomes). Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, NewBridge will serve as the exclusive Verinata Health commercial partner for the sales and marketing of the verifi® test in the countries of the Middle East, Turkey, Africa and Caspian regions. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We are thrilled to introduce Verinata's verifi® prenatal test to the physicians and patients in our region to provide early access to the most advanced testing solutions to help protect the health of mothers and babies," said Joe Henein, president and chief executive officer, NewBridge Pharmaceuticals. "We look forward to working with Verinata going forward."
Traditionally, doctors have used invasive tests such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS) to determine the chromosomal status of a fetus during a woman's pregnancy. Using a routine blood sample from the mother, the verifi® test detects Down syndrome (trisomy 21 or T21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18 or T18) and Patau syndrome (trisomy 13 or T13), as well as the most common fetal sex chromosome aneuploidies including Turner syndrome (Monosomy X), Triple X (XXX), Klinefelter syndrome (XXY) and Jacobs syndrome (XYY).
"The verifi® test offers unique advantages with superior performance and the most comprehensive testing menu in the non-invasive prenatal testing arena," said Garrett Vygantas, M.D., vice president of strategy and business development for NewBridge. "We selected Verinata from the field of NIPT makers as we believe the verifi® test provides the best information for high-risk pregnant women today."
"Verinata's goal is to be a global leader in maternal and fetal health," said Vance Vanier, M.D., President of Verinata. "NewBridge Pharma's strong record of improving healthcare in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey makes them an ideal partner to bring the verifi® prenatal test to expectant mothers and the physicians who wish to deliver a world class standard of care."
About the verifi® prenatal test
The verifi® prenatal test is a blood test that analyzes genetic material (or DNA) naturally found in a pregnant woman's blood to detect the most common fetal chromosome abnormalities. When directed by a physician, the verifi® test can be offered to pregnant women of at least 10 weeks gestation at high risk of carrying a fetus with a genetic abnormality. A physician may classify a woman as "high-risk" if she is over 35 years of age, has a prior personal or family history of chromosome abnormalities, or has had a positive initial screening test indicating she is at increased risk for carrying a fetus with a genetic abnormality.
About NewBridge Pharmaceuticals
NewBridge Pharmaceuticals is a specialty therapeutics company focused on pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical diagnostics serving the AfMET markets (Middle East, Africa, Turkey, and Caspian regions) to address the unmet medical needs of diseases with high regional prevalence. Headquartered in UAE with strong local and international business network, NewBridge is uniquely positioned as the partner-of-choice for companies seeking to create value for their pharma or medical products in the high growth emerging AfMET markets.
For more information, please visit www.nbpharma.com.
About Verinata Health
Verinata Health, Inc. 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. For more information about Verinata, please visit www.verinata.com.