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PerkinElmer acquires ViaCell to extend neonatal, prenatal and maternal health market coverage

PerkinElmer : 15 November, 2007  (New Product)
PerkinElmer has completed the acquisition of ViaCell, a biotechnology company specialising in the collection and preservation of umbilical cord blood stem cells.
The acquisition expands PerkinElmer's offerings and reach in the neonatal, prenatal and maternal health markets.

ViaCell's ViaCord product offering allows expectant families to preserve their baby's umbilical cord blood at the time of birth for possible future medical use in treating over 40 life-threatening diseases, including certain leukemias, immune system deficiencies, and metabolic disorders.

The addition of ViaCord and ViaCell's qualified sales and marketing organization provides PerkinElmer with a leading offering in the rapidly growing cord blood banking business, as well as an enhanced ability to reach obstetric professionals and prospective parents. ViaCell customers will continue to benefit from ViaCord's high-quality cord blood banking offering and expertise, and now will have access to a wider range of neonatal, prenatal and maternal health solutions from PerkinElmer.

'PerkinElmer is committed to protecting the health of mothers and babies from pregnancy through birth and beyond,' said Robert F Friel, president and chief operating officer, PerkinElmer. 'The addition of ViaCell marks another step in our efforts to become a leading provider of innovative prenatal, neonatal and maternal healthcare solutions. We will continue to look for opportunities to build our product portfolio and provide the most comprehensive and accurate assessment of newborn and maternal health to families and their healthcare providers.'

PerkinElmer is the world's leading provider of newborn screening systems, offering the world's first and only tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) kit cleared by the FDA as an aid to screening for inborn errors of metabolism.

The company continues to drive the advancement of newborn screening with the capability to analyse more than 40 disease markers with a single blood sample. PerkinElmer estimates that every baby screened in the USA today is tested using its screening tools, and has helped identify more than 100,000 infants globally who were determined to be at risk for potentially life-threatening diseases.

As part of its rapidly growing offerings for prenatal and maternal health, PerkinElmer currently offers Ultra-Screen, a first-trimester prenatal screening protocol designed to provide patient-specific risk assessment for certain chromosomal abnormalities, through its clinical test subsidiary, NTD Laboratories.

The company also holds a global licensing agreement to develop Assay kits for the ADAM12 biochemical marker, which has broad potential in maternal health screening for foetal chromosomal abnormalities, and has secured global rights for Placental Protein 13 (PP13), a new maternal serum marker currently under investigation that has shown potential for early detection of pre-eclampsia in low-risk groups.

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