Sera Prognostics and PreTRM®: Taking the Fight against Preterm Birth Globally

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mom and baby“Emotionally, I think the PreTRM test was huge for me.  I needed to make sure I was doing everything in my power to help my baby.  Taking a simple blood test like this, and finding out you are at higher risk could give you the push to see a specialist, or even make a ‘plan of attack” with your current care provider.”

Stephanie Ricks discovered she had a very high risk of delivering prematurely with the PreTRM® test and following proactive interventions, gave birth to her son at 37 weeks and four days.

preemie infographicEach year, 15 million infants are born prematurely around the world. In the United States, one out of ten babies is born prematurely, representing a great healthcare and economic challenge to society that is estimated to cost greater than $26 Billion each year, not to mention the emotional toll it takes on families. Premature birth, defined as delivery before 37 weeks gestation, is the leading cause of short- and long-term illness, including heart and breathing difficulties as well as vision and hearing problems and even death in newborns. Yet, most pregnant women believe it won’t happen to them. According to published research, nearly 50% of premature births in the U.S. occur to mothers with no known risk factors and 40% of premature infants are born to first-time moms. Whether here in the U.S. or in developing countries, traditional tools and methods fail to detect the great majority of women who are at increased risk.  Such women may benefit from early and effective support, education and interventions during their pregnancies.

The PreTRM® test, recently launched by Sera Prognostics, is the only broadly and clinically validated blood test to accurately and objectively assess, early in pregnancy, a woman’s individualized risk of premature birth. Given as early as 19 weeks of pregnancy, the PreTRM test predicts the risk of premature delivery, enabling more proactive interventions by physicians designed to prolong gestation and thereby improve neonatal health outcomes.

Sera’s innovative test measures two proteins in the blood highly predictive of premature birth and uses a proprietary algorithm to predict the woman’s individual risk of her baby being born prematurely. From a physician’s perspective, the PreTRM test provides an opportunity to intervene earlier in pregnancy to address a patient’s risk with individualized patient care.

From the patient perspective, education and intervention can begin earlier. A variety of interventions and support can be given, including more frequent visits to the clinic, closer monitoring and giving medications according to standard clinical practice guidelines. The PreTRM test gives a mother individualized information she’s never had before about her pregnancy and may help her to better plan and prepare, and possibly provide reassurance and peace of mind.

Building on its innovative and proprietary technology, Sera is committed to improving neonatal health globally, through direct participation in ongoing scientific studies, both in the U.S. and worldwide. Currently, in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sera is developing technologies that can benefit underserved women and infants in low-income settings in developing countries, where the consequences of premature birth are most severe.


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Mellissa Hopkins

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