Illumina, Natera, Ariosa ink deals with CA's prenatal Dx program

Natera, Illumina's ($ILMN) Verinata Health and Ariosa Diagnostics have scored major deals to provide diagnostic testing to California women through the state's prenatal screening program, a coup opening the door to wider patient access in the nation's biggest state. Natera, a 2013 Fierce 15 company, said its Panorama diagnostic will become part of the program. Launched initially in March 2013, the blood test looks at cell-free DNA to screen for multiple chromosomal abnormalities. Verinata is contributing its Verifi prenatal blood test, which screens for chromosomal abnormalities including trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) or trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome). Ariosa Diagnostics disclosed that its Harmony prenatal test will now be available "in the majority of California's 28 comprehensive Prenatal Diagnosis Centers," also as part of the prenatal screening program. California recently added non-invasive prenatal testing to the program at no cost to patients, which has previously included genetic counseling, an ultrasound exam, amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling. The companies did not disclose financial terms. Story