Four innovations will be fast-tracked into use in the NHS by helping to overcome financial barriers through the Innovation and Technology Payment 2019/20 programme, supported by NHS England and the AHSN Network.

One of these is the PlGF based test, for which there are two suppliers: Quidel and Roche Diagnostics.

Challenge/problem identified

Pre-eclampsia (PE) is a multisystem hypertensive disorder of pregnancy that affects approximately 3% of all pregnancies, however to date there has been no definitive test to diagnose PE. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but it is thought to occur when the placenta becomes dysfunctional or “unwell”, and the only way to cure PE is to deliver the baby.

If the disease is allowed to progress, it can result in maternal organ failure and foetal growth restriction and in some cases foetal or maternal death. Clinical teams therefore have a high degree of suspicion for the disease and a low threshold to admit pregnant women with suspected PE, placing unnecessary burden on the healthcare system and causing unnecessary anxiety for the woman and her family.

PlGF-based testing can help with clinical risk stratification for women with suspected pre-eclampsia, meaning they can be treated appropriately according to their need, improving both patient experience and outcomes and improving the use of scarce system resources.

Quidel Triage PLGF test 

Roche Diagnostics Elecsys® sFlt-1:PlGF ratio test