NX Prenatal Study Identifies Novel Proteomic Biomarkers of Spontaneous Preterm Birth from Serum-Derived Microparticles

LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — NX Prenatal Inc., a privately held women’s healthcare molecular diagnostic company, announced today that the American Journal of Perinatology has published the results of a blinded, retrospective study of 48 asymptomatic, healthy pregnant women that demonstrates the feasibility of  assessing biomarkers associated with blood based microvesicles/exosomes for spontaneous preterm birth (SPTB) risk.  The study describes a new library of statistically valued biomarkers for prenatal risk assessment that were identified at week 15-17 of gestation.

“The use of circulating extracellular microparticles as biomarkers is being intensely examined in multiple diseases. This study reflects the first in-depth proteomic evaluation of microparticle biomarkers as potential early warning signals of SPTB,” said lead author Alan M. Ezrin, Ph.D. “A key finding was a common subset of differentiating biomarkers identified in both first pregnancy and second pregnancy subgroups, which opens the potential for use in a broad group of patients.”  The blinded study identified 18 such proteins of priority interest, with various multiplex combinations of markers accurately correlating 41-47 of the 48 cases to the respective SPTB or term-delivering cohort, at varying probability of error values of p<0.05 or better. NX Prenatal has undertaken further studies that may enable the clinical use of such markers for early risk stratification, understanding the pathophysiology of SPTB, and possibly the development of effective prevention strategies.

“A non-invasive test that can reliably provide enhanced preterm birth risk information prior to the week 16-20 optimal intervention initiation period would be a significant new tool for physicians and pregnant moms,” commented co-author Dr. Baha Sibai, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.  These findings are of importance relative to addressing the global problem of preterm birth which affects one in eight U.S. women and 15 million women globally each year – accounting for 75% of perinatal deaths and over 1 million newborn deaths each year.

Ezrin AM, Brohman B, Willmot J, Baxter S, Moore K, Luther M, Fannon MR, Sibai B. (2015) Circulating serum-derived microparticles provide novel proteomic biomarkers of spontaneous preterm birth. Am J Perinatol 32(6):605-14. [abstract]

About NX Prenatal

NX Prenatal Inc. is a private US based molecular diagnostics company located in Louisville, KY. NX Prenatal is developing diagnostic assays for adverse pregnancy outcomes and conditions such as preterm birth. NX Prenatal’s proprietary NeXosome® platform enables the rapid isolation and enrichment of exosome and microvesicle particles from maternal blood. These particles have been shown to be shed from the maternal and fetal tissues to help maintain a balance in certain biological processes that are common to successful pregnancy outcomes. The biomarker content of these exosome particles can reflect early signs of dysfunction and dysregulation in those processes, which can lead to adverse outcomes. NX Prenatal is located in Louisville, KY. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.nxprenatal.com.

Source – PRNewswire

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