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Event Highlight: SMFM 43rd Annual Pregnancy Meeting

Natera attended the 43rd Annual Pregnancy Meeting of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine in San Francisco. This conference brings together experts in the field of maternal-fetal medicine to learn and to discuss the latest advancements in prenatal care.

On Wednesday, Natera held a lunch symposium and panel discussion—Real world insights from the use of NIPT in management of twin pregnancies. More than 150 attendees joined the event which featured Lihong Mo M.D. Ph.D. from UC Davis, Maeve Hopkins M.D. from the Cleveland Clinic, Ruben Quintero M.D. from The Fetal Institute, Miami, and was moderated by Russ Jelsema M.D., Senior Medical Director at Natera. Dr. Mo explained the unique clinical benefits of choosing SNP-based NIPT for twin pregnancies, and she reviewed findings from her recent publication in Prenatal Diagnosis. Each panelist shared real world examples where SNP-based NIPT was informative during difficult scenarios in a twin pregnancy. This session gave attendees the opportunity to hear from a 3rd year MFM fellow, engage with experts in the field, and learn more about Panorama performance in the identification of aneuploidies in twin pregnancies.

Natera’s exhibitor booth artwork showcased a 10 year anniversary campaign, “Every Pregnancy Deserves Panorama, The #1 Trusted NIPT”. The 2023 SMFM meeting marks the 10 year anniversary of Panorama’s introduction at the 2013 SMFM Meeting. Since then, Panorama has become one of the most widely used NIPT tests, and its accuracy and reliability have been validated by 27+ peer-reviewed studies. Dr. Jelsema demonstrated an amniocentesis procedure to over 50 fellows and faculty. Other booth messages highlighted the unique features of SNP-based NIPT to detect common chromosomal abnormalities in a developing fetus, as early as nine weeks of pregnancy.

Among many options for post-graduate seminars and educational sessions at the meeting, Natera noted two “hot topics” from 2023 SMFM:

  • Earlier detection of preeclampsia: Mirvie of South San Francisco is one company setting out to “predict pregnancy complications months before they occur”. They hope that their RNA platform will help the 1 in 5 pregnancies that are impacted by unexpected complications such as preeclampsia, preterm birth, and gestational diabetes. One of the poster presentations titled “Preterm Preeclampsia Prediction Using Intelligible Machine Learning”, used data from births at 20 US hospitals to inform a machine learning model to predict preeclampsia. They concluded that BMI was the strongest predictor of preeclampsia with nulliparity and chronic hypertension as other predictors. Dr Vivienne Souter, one of our Medical Directors, was one of the co-authors.
  • Innovations in maternal healthcare: During a Wednesday afternoon session titled “Innovations in Pregnancy”, Senan Ebrahim, CEO of Delfina Care and Anish Sebastian, CEO of BabyScripts discussed the importance of a ‘fast fail’ mentality and intellectual honesty when developing maternal health products. Randomized control trials are widely regarded as the gold standard for evaluating data, but such studies can be costly and time consuming. The CEOs agreed that defining ‘a fixed period of iterative building’ and consulting with academic partners is also important for building products that are clinically meaningful. In another session, Frank Ciafone, MBA, SMFM Practice Management Advisory Committee member and consultant, offered private consultations to coach clinicians on how to build their business.

The SMFM 43rd Annual Pregnancy Meeting provided a platform to share Natera’s expertise in SNP-based NIPT and to connect with the MFM community. Natera is committed to continued innovation in prenatal screening as well as continuing to partner with MFMs to develop products that improve the lives of their patients.