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GEN News Highlights : Jan 6, 2012

Gene Security Network Closes $20M Round, Changes Name to Natera

Company is developing a noninvasive prenatal diagnostic for Down syndrome.

Gene Security Network (GSN) has completed a $20 million financing as well as the change of its name to Natera. Proceeds from the financing will support the continued development and commercialization of the company’s noninvasive prenatal diagnostic for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions. This includes the expansion of the NIH-funded clinical trial and preparing for commercial launch of the test in 2012.

“With proceeds from the funding and the extensive expertise of our team, we will continue to develop diagnostics that lead the industry in terms of the breadth, speed, and reliability of information delivered to expecting couples at the early stages of pregnancy,” says Matthew Rabinowitz, Ph.D., CEO of Natera.

The company says that it has developed a bioinformatics technology, Parental Support, to deliver accurate and comprehensive high-throughput testing for reproductive indications from tiny quantities of DNA, as small as that from a single cell. Natera operates a CLIA laboratory in Redwood City, CA, providing a host of preconception and prenatal genetic testing services.

Test offerings include pre-implantation genetic diagnosis to analyze chromosomal anomalies or inherited genetic conditions during an IVF cycle in order to select embryos with the highest probability of becoming healthy children; products of conception testing following miscarriage to rapidly and extensively analyze fetal chromosomes in order to understand the cause; and noninvasive prenatal testing to determine paternity or detect genetic disease by analyzing fragments of fetal DNA in a pregnant mother’s blood drawn in the first trimester.