PerkinElmer Inc. has entered into a global licensing agreement with the University of Copenhagen in Copenhagen, Denmark, to develop assay kits for the biochemical marker ADAM12. ADAM12 has broad potential in maternal health screening as a marker for fetal chromosomal abnormalities as well as for intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and pre-eclampsia, both of which can result in, maternal, fetal and long-term complications if left undiagnosed.
The license agreement covers exclusivity in North America and co-exclusivity in Europe, Central and South America. Kits will be developed for the complete portfolio of PerkinElmer platforms, including
AutoDELFIA, DELFIA Xpress and manual DELFIA platforms.
A team consisting of Dr. Ulla Wewer at the University of Copenhagen, Dr. Michael Christiansen from Statens Serum Institut (SSI) and Dr. Kevin Spencer at the Harold Wood Hospital in England have done all of the groundwork and tested ADAM12 in several thousand samples from pregnant women to investigate its importance for prediction of chromosomal disorders.
ADAM12 also shows potential to provide an early indicator of IUGR and pre-eclampsia, for which there are no current screening mechanisms. Early studies at the University of Copenhagen, SSI and Harold Wood have shown that ADAM12 levels were reduced at 10-14 weeks in pregnancies that developed pre-eclampsia and were greatly reduced in those exhibiting both pre-eclampsia and low birth weight.