UK-based liquid biopsy company Angle has reported positive results from a clinical study evaluating its Parsortix system for non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

Findings showed that the system could harvest foetal cells from the peripheral blood of mothers to diagnose any foetal abnormalities.

Angle said that the Parsortix system has been designed to address the challenges with existing NIPT, which is based on cell-free foetal DNA analysis and hence limited to chromosomal disorders testing.

“Findings showed that the system could harvest foetal cells from the peripheral blood of mothers to diagnose any foetal abnormalities.”

The next-generation sequencing leveraged by current NIPT is also considered as a limitation because the intellectual property is held by only certain corporate companies.

Angle believes that these limitations can be addressed by harvesting intact foetal cells, facilitating whole genome analysis that provides information on a wide range of genetic disorders.

During the clinical study involving 19 pregnant women, blood samples processed through the Parsortix system were observed to contain large, putative foetal cells, compared to the control arm.

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The blood was tested for XY chromosomes, and one sample was found to be a Down’s syndrome foetus as it was positive for trisomy.

A statement from the company read: “This confirmed the potential to analyse the captured foetal cells for key diagnostic information. This was a small-scale pilot study and, whilst highly encouraging, substantial further work will be necessary to develop an effective NIPT test.”

Angle is currently working on partnering with corporate firms to commercialise the new NIPT test.

Angle founder and CEO Andrew Newland said: “Non-invasive prenatal testing is a major new market for the Parsortix system and a potential solution to the current limitations of NIPT, providing a more comprehensive diagnosis of foetal abnormalities for mothers at risk of an affected pregnancy.”