26 July 2022 | Tuesday | News
INEX's Dr. Chia-Pin Chang with Prof. Richard Choy of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Singapore-based diagnostics developer and medical laboratory operator, INEX Innovate has contributed an undisclosed sum to leading Hong Kong university – The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), to collaborate and further research in the field of maternal fetal medicine.
The CUHK Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (O&G) is world-renowned for its many prominent contributions and high-impact publications in the scientific community, attributed to its pursuit towards advancing the frontiers of knowledge in O&G through clinical, scientific and translational research. This initiative will tap on the research expertise of CUHK to further advance LEXI®, a novel fetal cell isolation technology developed by INEX Innovate.
LEXI® is a Non Invasive Prenatal Diagnostic (NIPD) technology that isolates fetal cells from the unborn baby, contained in the pregnant mother's blood for the definitive analysis of in excess of 7000 potential rare fetal genetic conditions.
Currently, expectant mothers whose prenatal screening results show signs of fetal anomaly are often recommended to undergo prenatal diagnostic tests for a definitive diagnosis of fetal genetic abnormalities, as this allows for early medical treatment of these conditions. However, prevailing diagnostic procedures such as amniocentesis are invasive and carry a risk of pregnancy loss of up to approximately 5 per cent.
Developed by INEX's Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Chia-Pin Chang, The LEXI® cell isolation and enrichment is a process that isolates, identifies, and extracts target cells such as fetal cells from blood samples. The LEXI® microfluidic chip enables its microfabricated filter to successfully deplete most of non-target cells in a blood sample and effectively capture fetal cells. Clinicians will need to draw one tube of blood from an expectant mother to generate results of the health condition of the fetus.
Chief Executive of INEX Innovate, Kane Black remarked, "We're thrilled to support and further the research of LEXI® with Professor Richard Choy and his team at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), the pioneer centre of scientific excellence that focus on translating research advances into clinical impact both locally and internationally.
Mr. Black further commented fetal cells in maternal blood represent the Holy Grail of prenatal diagnosis. The major challenge has been isolation of these cell from maternal blood owing to their rarity, we look forward to working on this potentially cutting edge medical breakthrough with CUHK."
"We are looking forward to developing a potentially important breakthrough technology in the field of maternal fetal medicine," said Prof. Choy, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.