Press Release - 2 May 2018

(只提供英文版本)Cordlife Group’s Subsidiary, HealthBaby Hong Kong,Cordlife Group’s Subsidiary, HealthBaby Hong Kong,Offers Non-Invasive Newborn Metabolic Screening

SINGAPORE, 2 May 2018 – Cordlife Group Limited ("Cordlife" and together with its subsidiaries, the "Group") announced today that its wholly-owned HealthBaby Biotech (Hong Kong) Co Limited (“HealthBaby”), the cord blood banking market leader in Hong Kong, has launched Metascreen, a newborn metabolic screening service to detect over 100 inherited metabolic disorders, much more than conventional newborn metabolic screening tests available in Hong Kong today.

"The launch of Metascreen by HealthBaby enables us to reach an even wider audience in Hong Kong. This will give more parents the opportunity to take proactive steps in enabling early detection, which can help avoid lifelong and potentially fatal effects of inborn errors of metabolism," said Mr Michael Weiss, Group CEO and Executive Director of Cordlife. Babies with metabolic disorders lack certain enzymes to maintain normal metabolic functions. This results in a build-up of toxic substances or deficiency of critical substances. If left untreated, metabolic disorders can cause serious lifelong developmental issues such as mental retardation and physical disability. Early-stage detection enables doctors to treat these metabolic disorders

timely through early intervention and prevent long-term detrimental effects to the baby’s health.

Metascreen uses urine – instead of blood – as a test specimen, which avoids the need to perform painful heel prick on babies. Besides the non-invasiveness, metabolites tend to accumulate in urine first. The human body rapidly excretes redundant or toxic compounds that exceed desired levels. These compounds do not increase significantly in blood but are excreted in large amounts into urine, making it a highly effective test specimen. Blood accumulation of these toxic substances in general will only appear once the kidney clearance capacity is exceeded.

Urine specimens taken from babies 48 hours after birth and up to six months old, will be tested using an US-FDA approved Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry platform from Japan at the CAP-accredited laboratory of Hong Kong Screening Centre, another subsidiary of Cordlife. Coupled with in-house Planar Diagnostics Tool, comprising of international and local database of normal samples, Metascreen can provide highly specific and definite results as it analyses up to four analyte profiles, to detect a single metabolic disorder. This helps to reduce false positive rates compared to conventional newborn metabolic screening, which usually uses only one or two analyte profiles.

The rollout of Metascreen via HealthBaby is the Group’s latest move to expand its diagnostics business. "New Cordlife is all about leveraging our extensive, multi-national platform to access large pockets of demand for all new offerings," Mr. Weiss added. "We will continue to add innovative new services that can, to the greatest extent possible, be 'plugged in and played' across the entire system." Earlier this month, Cordlife launched in Singapore the PlumCareTM DNA Advisor, a whole exome sequencing test to help families identify possible disease-causing genetic variants associated with common hereditary conditions like heart ailments and breast cancer.


 

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