Available Technologies

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Method to determine risk of preterm birth


Preterm birth accounts for ~12% of all births in the US and costs an estimated $26.2 billion each year. Current methods for identifying patients at risk for preterm birth rely on socioeconomic, behavioral, and clinical factors such as age, tobacco use, or previous preterm birth, respectively. Although there are numerous factors known to be associated with preterm birth, it remains difficult to accurately predict patients at risk.


A large prospective study of pregnant women led by Dr. Elovitz confirmed the association of cervicovaginal bacteria with preterm birth risk. Specific bacteria were found to be associated with either an increased or decreased risk of preterm birth. These results indicate that identification of bacteria could be used as a method for determining a patient’s risk of preterm birth.


  • Non-invasive
  • Early detection
  • Clinically validated


Identification of risk of preterm birth

Stage of Development:

Prospective clinical study complete

Intellectual Property:

Reference Media:

Desired Partnerships:

  • License
  • Co-development

Patent Information:


Docket # 17-8103

For Information, Contact:

Jessica Casciano Licensing Officer, PSOM Licensing Group
University of Pennsylvania
(215) 573-5414