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Stepping Into the Race to Detect Fetal Cells in Maternal Blood

Executive Summary

Many companies have tried and failed to develop tools that could detect fetal cells in maternal blood. Their aim would be to detect pre-natal abnormalities more accurately and earlier than existing tests and to replace invasive methods, such as amniocentesis. Roche Diagnostics started a program in this field six years ago and found several markers distinguishing fetal from maternal cells in blood. But its priorities shifted and recently it licensed the technology to Vysis, which has been doing chromosomal analysis of fetal cells gleaned from amniocentesis

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