February 24, 2024

Data on Down’s Syndrome test “mishandled”

Sequenom’s shares plunge

A San Diego company which had been developing a non-invasive test for Down’s
Syndrome is in hot water after admitting that some of its data was "mishandled"
by employees. Sequenom’s shares plunged 75% when investors learned that there
were "significant concerns". Officials have declined to say whether fraud was
involved. Four people in R&D have been suspended and an independent
investigation has been launched. Several class-actions suits have been filed
against the company.

Sequenom’s test works by examining minute amounts of fetal DNA or RNA in the
mother’s blood. It would provide an alternative to more invasive methods such as
amniocentesis, which carry a small risk of miscarriage. In most cases the child
would be aborted if the test were reliably positive. ~ Nature, May
; Wall
Street Journal, Apr 30