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NYU Winthrop, Progenity Collaborate on Preterm Birth

NEW YORK – NYU Winthrop Hospital and Progenity said today they are collaborating on an initiative focused on preterm birth.

NYU Winthrop has granted San Diego-based Progenity an exclusive license to patents – US Patent No. 9,797,903 and European Patent No. EP2912458 – that it holds covering a biomarker for predicting preterm births. The biomarker is based on work by Louis Ragolia, director of biomedical research at NYU Winthrop, and involves a gene that produces an enzyme in pregnant women. The enzyme synthesizes a lipid called prostaglandin D2 that contributes to early contractions and preterm labor.

The partners will also work together to discover additional preterm birth biomarkers and on clinical validation of other reproductive health tests for Progenity.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This marker shows great promise to inform development of a novel biomarker panel for preterm birth," said Progenity CSO Matthew Cooper in a statement. "Combining the diagnostic test development expertise of Progenity with NYU Winthrop's leading clinical center and state-of-the-art research facility strongly positions this partnership for success,"