Bioanalysis Zone

Collaboration announced to investigate predictive biomarker for preterm birth


Partnership formed to research a predictive screening test for perinatal care.


Science Foundation Ireland has recently announced a collaboration between the Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research (INFANT; Cork, Ireland) and Waters Corporation (MA, USA). This partnership will aim to investigate a predictive biomarker for preterm birth, one of the main causes of neonatal morbidity and mortality.

The research will involve developing a blood-based assay, to be carried out in the first 15 weeks of pregnancy. The ultimate aim would be to predict the likelihood that preterm birth will occur, and therefore implement preventative measures. Louise Kenny (University College Cork, Ireland) is directing the research and commented on the partnership, explaining that it will “allow the realization of enormous innovation in obstetrics care for future generations, and this is an area in which Irish science is truly world-leading as the uptake rate for this screening test will be on a global basis.”

Mike Harrington, Vice President of European and Asia Pacific Operations at Waters Corporation, also commented on the announcement, “The chance to partner with world class researchers at the INFANT Centre focused on better understanding and diagnosing perinatal disease is an important and potentially highly impactful opportunity.” He continued, explaining the benefits of this collaborative effort, “Diseases are complex as demonstrated by the vast number of biomarkers that researchers are identifying using Waters’ chromatography and MS technologies. This partnership with INFANT is a strong opportunity to advance our collective diagnostic capabilities in hopes of improving patient care.”

Source: Taoiseach welcomes new Irish-American technology development partnership which may save the lives of pregnant mums and newborn babies.



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