Don't be afraid to knock on the researchers' doors

Arcedi Biotech has, together with researchers from the Department of Clinical Medicine and Aarhus University Hospital, developed a test that can replace a placental biopsy with a blood sample.

"The partnership is an excellent example of how much we can achieve by bringing the right collaborative partners together. It’s been a strong match with each of us bringing different core competences to the table. Without this partnership, we couldn’t exist, as it’s crucial for us to have access to blood samples from pregnant women. At the same time, it’s been a great pleasure to collaborate with such passionate people,"

says Palle Schelde, CEO of Arcedi Biotech, who are behind the development of the method.

The company brings its technology and know-how, as well as a concept and set-up to disseminate the test around the world. At Aarhus University Hospital, geneticists have analysed the foetal cells in approximately 5,000 blood samples from pregnant women.

Collaboration to Benefit Pregnant Women

The ground-breaking result of the partnership is very important for those pregnant women who are told following a nuchal scan that there is a risk of the foetus having a serious chromosomal defect. They are usually offered a placental biopsy, but this intervention can be unpleasant and involves a small risk of aborting. It is therefore very gratifying that it is now possible to use a different method.

If other companies are considering a similar partnership, then Palle Schelde thinks they should simply take the plunge.

"You need to persevere and not be afraid to knock on the researchers' doors. This kind of collaboration makes sense for each party, both private companies and public-sector institutions. In Denmark, we’re very good at science, so we need to make sure we’re visible to each other and benefit from one another’s competences. And of course, it’s very pleasing to be able to develop a product that can benefit millions of pregnant women, both in Denmark and the rest of the world," says Palle Schelde.