SINGAPORE (May 2): HealthBaby Biotech (Hong Kong), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cordlife Group, has launched a newborn metabolic screening service in Hong Kong.
This comes as part of Cordlife’s move to expand its diagnostics business, says the group in a press release issued on Wednesday.
Named Metascreen, the service uses urine instead of blood to detect over 100 inherited metabolic disorders – which is much more than what can be detected by conventional newborn metabolic screening tests currently available in Hong Kong, according to the group.
The specimens are taken from babies 48 hours after birth and up to six months old, and will be testing using an US-FDA-approved Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry platform from Japan at the laboratory of Hong Kong Screening Centre, which is another subsidiary of Cordlife.
Aside from Metascreen being a non-invasive procedure, Cordlife emphasises that using urine as a test specimen is highly effective as metabolites tend to accumulate in urine first, while blood accumulation of toxic substances will only appear once the kidney clearance capacity is exceeded.
The group also says that Metascreen can provide “highly specific and definite results” as it analyses up to four analyte profiles to detect a single metabolic disorder – which helps to reduce false positive rates compared to conventional newborn metabolic screening, which usually only uses one or two analyte profiles in comparison.
“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 Michael Weiss, Group CEO and Executive Director of Cordlife.
“New Cordlife is all about leveraging our extensive, multi-national platform to access large pockets of demand for all new offerings. We will continue to add innovative new services that can, to the greatest extent possible, be ‘plugged in and played’ across the entire system,” he adds.
As at 1.15pm, shares in Cordlife are trading flat at 70 cents.