LifeCell launches ‘Transformational’ Newborn Screening Program

In current process of newborn screening, a few drops of blood are obtained through heel prick from the baby’s heel, usually 48 hours after childbirth, and is analysed by profiling a specific set of metabolites present in the blood.

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New Delhi, 2018, LifeCell International, India’s stem cell bank and mother and baby diagnostics company today announced the launch of “RightStart” – the world’s first Integrated DNA testing for Newborn Screening to detect over 50 medical conditions. This technology has been proven to be more accurate than current screening methods and has also been found to drastically reduce the false-positive reporting thereby avoiding unnecessary follow-up tests and anxiety of the parents.

In current process of newborn screening, a few drops of blood are obtained through heel prick from the baby’s heel, usually 48 hours after childbirth, and is analysed by profiling a specific set of metabolites present in the blood. If an abnormal metabolic profile is found further testing is recommended for confirmation.

The confirmatory test would need an additional sample to be taken once again from the child. Since most routine screening labs do not have DNA testing capabilities, the child is referred to specialised labs leading to further delays in diagnosis & treatment apart from causing further agony for the parents. The DNA based test, is considered a gold standard and is most reliable for confirmation as it does not get impacted by interferences such as medications, nutrition, temperature, or preterm status.

LifeCell’s “RightStart” Newborn screening, which adopts an integrated DNA testing approach, does not require an additional sample since a portion of the sample collected initially can be used. Also no additional costs would need to be incurred by the parents. “RightStart” provides more accurate results and also saves time & effort enabling a speedy diagnosis to initiate treatment. More importantly, the parents are alerted to the risk only if the DNA tests are positive thereby reducing parental anxiety.

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