Yourgene Health, a subsidiary of diagnostics group Novacyt, is working with Laboriad (Centre de Biologie Riad) to install the first non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) platform in Rabat, Morocco.

Yourgene’s IONA test, will be offered under the name COSY test. The prenatal screening tool can predict the risk of fetal trisomy 21 (Down’s syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards’ syndrome), or trisomy 13 (Patau’s syndrome) and the sex of the foetus. The analysis is performed on a maternal blood sample, using next-generation sequencing technology.

In the past, blood samples from Morocco had to be sent to countries like France and Germany for NIPT. The move will also support access to NIPT in surrounding regions and reduce the risk of test failures due to low foetal fraction, which can happen during shipping delays.

Lyn Rees, the Executive Director of Yourgene Health, said: “We are very proud, once again, to be contributing to patient care where it is needed and to be the first to bring NIPT to Morocco through our partnership with pioneering companies, like Laboriad, who are at the forefront of clinical testing in the region.”

Dr Jalil Elattar, the Director of Laboriad, highlighted the significance of this development for pregnant women in Morocco. Elattar said: “The establishment of the first NIPT platform in Morocco in collaboration with Yourgene Health, will improve the care of pregnant women in Morocco by giving gynaecologists and pregnant women rapid access to new generation NIPT.”

He added: “We are very pleased to collaborate with Yourgene Health who have installed their NIPT technology in our laboratory, allowing us to finally perform NIPT locally, in less than a week, and make them affordable and more accessible to pregnant women in Morocco.”

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