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PerkinElmer, Inc., today announced a multi-year license and research collaboration agreement with the University of Leicester (United Kingdom).
PerkinElmer, Inc. (NYSE: PKI), a global technology leader in Health Sciences and Photonics, today announced a multi-year license and research collaboration agreement with the University of Leicester (United Kingdom). Together, the two organizations will begin to lay the groundwork for the clinical investigation and discovery of biomarkers that predict preterm birth (PTB). This collaboration, which will be financed by PerkinElmer, reinforces the company's long-term commitment to the area of maternal health.
It is estimated that preterm labor complicates six to ten percent of all pregnancies and is the most common cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Worldwide statistics reflect that there may be as many as 13 million preterm births annually, and this figure is predicted to increase. In the United States, an estimated $820 million is spent on preterm hospitalization subsequently shown to have been unnecessary. These hospitalizations tax both the mother's health and healthcare resources. Currently, there are no rapid or accurate tests that positively predict preterm labor. The collaboration between PerkinElmer and the University of Leicester is designed to effectively address this need and eventually design and supply an effective preterm labor test predictor.
Working together, PerkinElmer will support the expansion of the University of Leicester's maternal health research capabilities, and empower its key researchers with advanced tools, technology and expertise. The University of Leicester is home to one of Europe's foremost research teams dedicated to the study and prediction of preterm birth. Professor J. C. Konje, M.D., and other senior academic staff, including Professor S.C. Bell, Ph.D., Professor D.J. Taylor, M.D., and Professor A. H. Taylor, Ph.D. at the University's Reproductive Sciences Section of the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, are currently conducting research in the field of preterm labor diagnosis.
"Collaborating with a world-leading research institution, such as the University of Leicester, further advances and enhances PerkinElmer's resources and technology in the rapidly emerging field of maternal health," said Robert F. Friel, president, PerkinElmer Life and Analytical Sciences. "We have an outstanding opportunity to improve PTB patient outcomes that will help prevent neonatal morbidity and mortality worldwide."
"Globally, there is a major unmet need when it comes to providing adequate clinical care during the course of pregnancy," said J. C. Konje, M.D. "Our research is designed to offer prevention, early detection and specifically targeted therapies through the use of biomarker technology to solve problems associated with maternal health. The PTB markers will be validated in large-scale clinical trials to determine whether they identify the risk of PTB, creating a solution for a global problem." The collaboration will give access to clinical samples and clinical consultancy in the field of maternal health.
This partnership will give PerkinElmer broader access within Professor J.C. Konje's research group to clinical samples, methodology and clinical consultancy support in the field of maternal health. The University of Leicester and PerkinElmer will work towards validating any new PTB biomarkers that will complement PerkinElmer's robust maternal health portfolio. PerkinElmer and the University of Leicester will share access to licensed intellectual property from any new PTB biomarkers that result from this research.