India is among the few countries in the world with very high rate of congenital defects. These defects develop during pregnancy and often go undetected. It is partially due to non-availability of proper prenatal screening procedures and partly due to high costs of such procedures.
With governments focus on reducing deaths due to congenital defects, it is interesting to see the rise of private companies offering numerous prenatal genetic testing. But since, there is no Indian government regulation on the genetic testing market, the variations we observe are numerous.
Once such test is Non Invasive Prenatal Testing or NIPT or some times called as NIPS.
Non Invasive prenatal testing is an important test that should be prescribed routinely to all high risk pregnancy cases. But a lot is not understood by the patients who are advised Non Invasive Prenatal Testing. For detailed information about NIPT test click here.
Here we shortlist few of the main companies who provide NIPT testing in India. It includes the companies who perform the tests within India in their own labs, who partner with big labs and who sends the sample to their labs outside India.
There are 3 major services providers. They are major because of their reliability, scale of operations, testing methodology, availability of services in different parts of India and range of services. These are:
Medgenome is probably the largest Indian company to offer genetic testing. Its annual sample volume is higher than any other existing company. Its Mother and Child division called, Medgenome Claria offers genetic testing for prenatal screening such as NIPT, PGS/PGD and Carrier Screening.
Medgenome markets its NIPT test by name of “Claria Non Invasive Prenatal Test” or Simply Claria NIPT.
Technology used: SNP Based technology from Panorama
Reporting Time varies from 5 to 10 days.
Pros: Claria NIPT offers screening of chromosomal aneuploidies (such as, trisomies 21, 18 and 13, and monosomy X) and microdeletions. It also offers screening in monozygotic, dizygotic, egg donor and surrogate pregnancies.
Cons: All combinations are not available for all pregnancy types and the test cost varies with the different combinations. There is no uniform price and for maximum parameters, the test cost is quite high.
RCL is a comparatively new company but has shown good marketing presence within few months of launch. Its lab is located in New Delhi and they provide services across India. With their recent MoU with Ambry Genetics (USA), RCL may soon a become a big name in genetics industry. It is also developing a database of Indian patients which will help in identifying mutations more confidently.
Redcliffe LifeSciences provides wide range of test based on Next Generation Sequencing technology.
Their mother and child segment is marketed under the brand name “Crysta”. RCL offers Non Invasive Prenatal Testing under name “Crysta NIPS”
Technology used: Next Generation Sequencing from Sage Prenatal Screen (YourGene)
Reporting Time– 4 to 7 days
Pros: Crysta NIPS is most patient friendly NIPT test available in India. They require only 1 tube of 10 ml maternal blood as compared to two tubes by companies. Also, the test in available in only two option- with or without microdeletion. Thus, it makes it easier for the doctors and patients to opt for the test without going too much into the test details. Also, in the basic test order, all the parameters are available which are available at higher costs with other companies.
Cons: RCL is a new company, less than 2 year old (at March 2019). Genetics market has visualized many companies which offer better services at their launch than existing players but fail to achieve consistency in the long run. However, RCL will be able to provide quality with consistency is a wait and watch thing.
ECGI is a part of Eurofins Group, Germany. Eurofins group is world renowned for their testing services. ECGI is based out of Bangalore and provide wide range of genetic testing for all health segments.
The Non Invasive Prenatal Testing for ECGI is marketed by name of “PreNatSure- NIPS”. We felt this name to be less user friendly compared to other brands.
Technology Used: Next Generation Sequencing technology from Illumina Verifi
Reporting Time: 7 to 10 days
Pros: ECGI use Illumina technology for their NIPS testing. They claim to be more technically advanced than other technology providers. ECGI is now couple of years old and they have presence in almost every part of the country. The fact that ECGI is part of Eurofins group may give it an advantage of confidence among the
Other companies offering NIPT testing:
Following companies also offer NIPT testing either by testing at their own labs or partnering with major service providers.
Lilac is also a renowned name in prenatal testing service providers. They have been providing services for a long time, but their portfolio is very limited. Details of Lilac Insight NIPS can be read here.
It is a genetic testing company based of Gurgaon in state of Haryana, launched in 2018. They are fast gaining popularity thanks to their different marketing strategies.
It is another name that resonated frequently with IVF centers mainly. Igenomix has made a market of partnering with major IVF chains of India. They also provide direct to patient services.
Their non invasive prenatal test is marketed under the name “NACE- Non Invasive Analysis for Chromosomal Abberations”. However, the flexibility of the parameters offered is limited.
Few years ago LPL entered into the business of genetic testing after gaining worldwide popularity in pathology services. LPL offers NIPT testing which has limited user base.
It is a German company with its lab based in Germany. Although, the quality of tests are high, but the increased prices due to shipment to Germany has not gained lot of popularity among low lever doctors who prefer cheaper and equally good quality Indian tests. They offer the under the name of “CentoNIPT”
It is a Chennai based diagnostics lab turned company offering various prenatal testing solutions. They started their nation wide services in 2018.
Strand is new name for earlier Strand Life Sciences. They are also a major service provider of various genetic testing services. But their entry into mother and baby segment is new.
There are many other smaller companies who are providing NIPT testing locally by partnering with major labs.
The list of companies presented above provided to help the patient and healthcare workers to understand the option they have before going for the test.
It is always a good thing to ask your doctor about the company.
DNA Gyaan advices its readers to properly research about the company they are sending the tests to. Many times, there are labs which sends your samples to big labs. It increases the price of the test as they include their costs as well. If you have financial constraint, check out the website of the major companies directly and book your test. Maybe you will get additional discounts as well.
Disclaimer- The information provided above is based on the market scenario. The order of listing is not deliberate. Many companies are performing at same level and if would be partial to put them at different positions. The order of listing is just for readers reference and due care must be taken before making any impression about the status of the company.