Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 05/23/2014 -- Non-invasive prenatal testing is increasingly being adopted by high risk pregnant women for the screening of common fetal chromosomal aneuploidies such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21), Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18), Patau syndrome (trisomy 13), Turner syndrome (monosomy X) and many others. The non-invasive nature of these tests, their accuracy and safety have been the major reasons behind their popularity among gynecologists and expecting mothers. MaterniT21 was the first NIPT launched in October 2011, by U.S. based Sequenom, Inc. and since then has been leading the market with the largest market share. Sources from Sequenom, Inc. indicate that the company accounts for more than 60% unit share of the high risk pregnancy market in the U.S. Harmony, verifi, Panorama, NIFTY, PrenaTest and BambniTest are other commercially available NIPTs for detecting chromosomal abnormalities.
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The exponential growth of the NIPT market is supported by factors such as high incidence rate of babies born with Down syndrome, no risk of miscarriage with NIPT and shifting trend towards child bearing at advanced maternal age (35 years or older). As maternal age is closely associated with the increasing risk of developing a fetus with chromosomal abnormalities, rising maternal age is likely to contribute to the increasing incidence of babies born with chromosomal aneuploidies. According to Down syndrome education (DSE), in the U.S., the incidence rate for Down syndrome is 1 in every 830 child births (around 4,700 annually), while in Europe the incidence rate is 1 in every 920 babies born (around 9,000 annually), indicating a large potential consumer base for NIPT. Conventional invasive prenatal genetic tests such as amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling (CVS) are associated with the chance of miscarriage, which is the prime reason for their replacement with new non-invasive prenatal tests. These new NIPTs are based on the analysis of cell-free DNA floating in the maternal plasma and pose no risk of miscarriage.
North America held the largest share in the global NIPT market in terms of revenue in 2012, accounting for 64.5% of the total market revenue. The fact that the major market players are U.S. based along with relatively high awareness levels in the North American region about NIPT are the key factors responsible for the region’s leadership position. In Europe, the market growth largely relies on the increasing penetration of these U.S. based test developers and the expected increase in acceptance of these tests. In the Asia-Pacific market, Japan, Australia, China and India represent the high growth potential markets. The presence of a large population of women preferring late pregnancy is likely to act as one of the major growth drivers in the region. In China, the market is dominated by two local players, namely, BGI Health and Berry Genomics.
Sequenom, Inc., Verinata Health, Inc. (now a part of Illumina, Inc.), Ariosa Diagnostics, Natera, Inc., BGI Health, LifeCodexx and Berry Genomics are the key players competing in the market for non-invasive prenatal testing. These players operate by marketing their proprietary non-invasive prenatal tests by forming alliances with hospitals, clinical laboratories and physician offices.
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