Biotech firm Dante Labs has introduced its next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology-based Non-Invasive Prenatal Test (NIPT) for the screening of the most common chromosomal abnormalities before birth.

With improved sensitivity and reliability, the fast and accurate test is claimed to be safe for both the mother and child without any risk of miscarriage.

Based on an in-vitro diagnostic test called Illumina VeriSeq NIPT Solution, Dante Labs NIPT has a turnaround time of one week and screens for abnormalities associated with 13, 18, 21, X and Y chromosomes.

The test could specifically identify Down, Edwards, Patau, Klinefelter, Jacobs, Turner and Triple X syndromes, while it could provide an optional report on foetal gender from week 12.

Dante Labs CEO Andrea Riposati said: “The demand for NIPT came from our customers.

“This test will provide much greater reassurance and comfort during pregnancy.”

“We established our first partnerships with hospitals and physicians, and they kept asking us to add a NIPT to our collection of advanced next-generation sequencing (NGS) DNA tests.

“This test will provide much greater reassurance and comfort during pregnancy.”

While the test is currently marketed to physicians and customers through Dante Labs website, the firm advises users to consult a gynaecologist and have their blood drawn at a physician’s office or lab.

By using the test, if a physician finds more than two copies of chromosome 21, 18 or 13 in the foetus, the mother will be referred to the standard invasive procedure for confirmation of the result.