US-based firm PerkinElmer has completed the acquisition of Sweden-based DNA analysis firm Vanadis Diagnostics for an undisclosed amount.
The Swedish firm is developing a new solution for non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) based on digital analysis of cell-free DNA.
With the acquisition complete, PerkinElmer will be able to use the Vanadis platform to provide a cost-effective and high-throughput approach to NIPT, helping to provide wider access for pregnant women.
According to PerkinElmer, the acquisition will build on its maternal fetal health offerings, which offer customers a full portfolio of traditional serum screening solutions.
It is reported that due to complexity of the tests, many traditional biochemistry prenatal testing labs have encountered challenges in successfully implementing NIPT, which led to limited acceptance of existing NIPT technology that has been adopted mainly by genetic laboratories.
PerkinElmer diagnostics president Prahlad Singh said: "While NIPT is becoming increasingly recognised as valuable to many high-risk expectant parents during the first trimester, test complexity and pricing issues have limited the ability of many biochemistry labs to effectively offer this type of prenatal screening.
"High capital investment, advanced molecular skills, and complex data handling for lab staff, along with the difficulty of integrating these systems into the existing screening infrastructure, have been barriers to more widespread adoption of NIPT.
"Vanadis' simplified NIPT platform, once available, should help overcome these obstacles, giving labs a wider range of prenatal testing capabilities and providing important information to physicians and patients."
Based on digital DNA analysis, the Vanadis platform is designed to provide automated testing for routine use by high-throughput biochemistry and genetic labs.
Through its wide range of instruments, reagents and assay platforms and software, PerkinElmer provides prenatal, neonatal and infectious disease screening and molecular diagnostics solutions.
The company provides its services in 150 countries. In 2014, it reported revenues of $2.2bn.