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Jan 27, 2009

Artemis Gains Rights to Prenatal Cell-Free DNA Analysis Technology from Stanford University

  • Artemis Health obtained a coexclusive, worldwide license from Stanford University to develop cell-free fetal DNA prenatal tests that predict chromosomal and genetic disorders. In parallel with this agreement, Artemis extended its existing exclusive consulting relationship with Stephen Quake, Ph.D., in whose lab this technology was developed.

    The intellectual property license includes the use of digital PCR technology and shotgun sequencing to analyze cell-free fetal DNA from maternal blood, particularly for the diagnosis of fetal genetic disorders such as Down's syndrome, Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18), and Patau syndrome (trisomy 13).

    Artemis also has a prenatal diagnostic platform focused on intact fetal cells. “We now have two complementary approaches that provide access to vital information found only in fetal DNA, which circulates in the maternal bloodstream,” points out Lissa Goldenstein, president and CEO of Artemis Health. “We believe that working in parallel, we will be able to develop noninvasive, safe, and effective prenatal blood tests that accurately diagnose genetic disorders without the need for invasive tests like amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.”

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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