Multiplicom, a molecular diagnostics company specializing in the design, development, production and commercialization of molecular genetic tests based on massively parallel sequencing, announced that it has been awarded a €200,000 grant from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT). The grant is intended to support the development of a test for genetic abnormalities during pregnancy that needs only a blood sample, in contrast to the invasive screening methods in use today. The test will be based on Multiplicom’s proprietary MASTR (Multiplex Amplification of Specific Targets for Resequencing) workflow.
The test, a single tube multiplex PCR reaction starting from fetal DNA isolated from the mother’s blood, allows the identification of copy number variations (or ‘aneuploidies’) of chromosomes 21, 18, 13, X and Y. Such variations cause genetic diseases like Down’s syndrome, Edward’s syndrome, Patau syndrome, triple X syndrome and Klinefelter’s syndrome.