San Diego's TrovaGene has regained ownership of worldwide rights to several of its patents for the development of prenatal diagnostic and screening applications through the termination of a license agreement with Sequenom. The move comes roughly two years after TrovaGene sued Sequenom, accusing the company of fraud and demanding the return of its rights.
"We are very pleased that TrovaGene has regained the prenatal development rights to diagnostic products based on our transrenal technology," said TrovaGene Chairman Thomas Adams. "This gives us the opportunity to expand our business in the women's healthcare market beyond our advanced HPV screening program based on urine samples, which can be obtained non-invasively and in complete privacy."
TrovaGene has generated data by next-generation sequencing that demonstrated the plurality and genomic representation of fetal transrenal sequences in urine from pregnant women. TrovaGene believes that a urine sample is better than plasma because of its simplicity of collecting, shipping and analyzing for certain fetal conditions, including Down syndrome. The company has started discussions with several potential partners.
In addition, TrovaGene has developed a DNA test using urine that the company's founder says is 95% accurate at predicting whether the baby is a boy at 7 weeks, and 88% accurate at predicting girls, as the New York Times notes. This week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that showed analyzing a mother's blood for fetal DNA can correctly identify a male 95.4% of the time and a female 98.6% of the time on average at 7 weeks, as MSNBC reports.