Business Opportunity


The Antibody Lab has worldwide exclusive rights to use NT-proCNP as a marker for screening or diagnosis of pre-eclampsia.

We are seeking a partner to adapt the NT-proCNP assay to automated clinical chemistry systems and to confirm our encouraging clinical results in a prospective clinical trial.


Social and Medical Value


A reliable and early screening assay to predict the risk of pre-eclampsia minimizes costs by diminishing subsequent health problems, reducing hospitalization and avoiding unnecessary treatment.

Good in vitro diagnostics can influence clinical decision-making, while accounting for only a fraction of total healthcare spending.

It allows doctors to make the right decisions for their patients at the right time and it helps healthcare insurance companies and policymakers to save money.

The future of sustainable healthcare depends on such diagnosis and screening.



Pre-eclampsia affects 3%-8% of all pregnancies and has traditionally been defined as new onset of sustained hypertension and proteinuria after 20 weeks of gestation. It is a major cause of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality.

A major challenge in modern obstetrics is early identification of pregnancies at high risk and undertaking the necessary measures to improve placentation and reduce the prevalence of the disease.

Several measures are used or under investigation (low-dose aspirin, low-molecular weight heparin, calcium, folic acid, among others) for the prevention of preeclampsia. Unfortunately, most high-risk women who could benefit from those preventive measures are not identified until late in pregnancy. Recent evidences suggest that clinicians could identify women at risk of developing preeclampsia by using the biomarker NT-proCNP or using a combination of serum biomarkers and ultrasound in the first-trimester of pregnancy. 



C–type natriuretic peptide (CNP) is a paracrine growth factor widely expressed in tissues, including the vascular endothelium, where it is considered to provide vasoprotective functions. In addition, CNP, a vasodepressor, promotes bloodflow via vasodilation and angiogenesis. CNP itself is rapidly degraded in tissues, and negligible quantities enter the circulation; however, an inactive portion of the pro-hormone aminoterminal proCNP (NT-proCNP) is not degraded at source, circulates in plasma, and can be used as a marker of CNP synthesis in tissues.


Pre-eclampsia and NT-proCNP

It has been shown in various studies that in women with pregnancy complications, such as diminished fetal growth and pre-eclampsia, NT-proCNP was increased early in gestation when compared with values from women with normal gestation.


Assay for NT-proCNP

The Antibody Lab has developed a CE-marked ELISA to measure levels of NT-proCNP in serum or plasma (marketed by Biomedica). The assay is currently being adapted for point of care testing.



* Walther, T. and  Stepan, H. C-type natriuretic peptide in reproduction, pregnancy and fetal development. J Endocrinol. 180, 17-22 (2004)
* Espiner, E. A., Prickett, T. C., Taylor, R. S., Reid, R. A. & McCowan, L. M. Effects of pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction on C-type natriuretic peptide. BJOG 122, 1236–43 (2015).

* Reid, R. A. et al. C-type natriuretic peptide in complicated pregnancy: increased secretion precedes adverse events. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 99, 1470–8 (2014)

* Mol, B.W., Roberts, C.T., Thangaratinam, S., Magee, L.A., de Groot, C.J., Hofmeyr, G.J. Pre-eclampsia. Lancet Sep 2 (2015)