A second Cambridge University spin-out is helping to spark a new baby boom in the UK and globally.Following Cambridge Temperature Concepts’ success in boosting pregnancy rates worldwide, Cambridge biotech BlueGnome is now in on the birth of a remarkable breakthrough in fertility.
A rapid screening platform developed by BlueGnome triples rates of embryo implantation for women undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, according to a new study.
Conducted by CARE Fertility in Nottingham and Manchester, the study followed 134 couples undergoing 150 cycles of IVF using 24sure, BlueGnome’s screening system for abnormal chromosomes, or aneuploidy, in embryos.
The women involved in the study had a median age of 41 and a history of miscarriage or failed IVF.
Chromosome abnormality is a major cause of miscarriage and IVF failure. In the study, researchers removed the polar body from a fertilised egg with a laser and checked the chromosome complement using 24sure.
The rapid screening process allows fresh transfer of viable embryos, without needing to freeze them while results are obtained.
“24sure is not only a triumph of UK ingenuity but also a real insight into the viability of an embryo,” said Professor Simon Fishel, lead author and managing director of CARE Fertility.
“CARE’s scientists examine thousands of embryos every year; deciding which embryo to replace is critical. 24sure can give us reliable information to help us make that decision.”
Since the birth of the first baby born using 24sure in 2009, BlueGnome and CARE Fetility have collaborated on the development of the chromosome test which is now being used in over 60 laboratories worldwide.
“This paper provides further evidence of the benefits of including 24sure in the management of some of the more challenging IVF cases,” said BlueGnome CEO Nick Haan.
“Our expectation is the same technique can now be applied more widely in order to improve the overall outcome of IVF.”
The findings were published recently in the journal Fertilization: In Vitro.
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: BlueGnome CEO Nick Haan