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Fertility Science Company Raises $115 Million in IPO

Pregnancy health (CDC)


8 January 2015. OvaScience Inc., a developer of fertility treatments using a woman’s early-forming egg cells, issued its initial public offering of common stock, raising some $115 million. The Cambridge, Massachusetts company that trades on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol OVAS, issued 2.3 million shares yesterday priced at $50.00. At 12 noon on 8 January, the stock was trading at $50.47.

OvaScience is developing fertility treatments for women, based on research by molecular biologist Jonathan Tilly, chair of the biology department at Northeastern University and professor of reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School. The company, founded in 2011, designs and commercializes treatments that use precursor, or early-forming, eggs found in the ovarian lining, for women whose natural egg development is compromised.

OvaScience’s lead product, called Augment, extracts the mitochondria or energy components of precursor egg cells to improve the quality of a patient’s fully-formed eggs, increase the eggs’ energy levels, and increase the likelihood of fertilization and a healthy birth. Augment treatments are now available in a few fertility clinics in Canada, Europe, and Middle East (not yet in the U.S.).

The company is developing other treatments from precursor egg cells, including OvaPrime that aims to increase a woman’s egg reserve for those do not produce enough high-quality eggs. OvaScience says it plans to introduce these treatments in fertility clinics overseas later this year. Another type of treatment in preclinical development with the brand name OvaTure, is intended to help women produce healthy and fertilizable eggs without hormone treatments.

OvaScience says it plans to use the proceeds from the IPO for expanding the number of clinics offering Augment treatments, as well as begin OvaPrime treatments in international markets. The company also plans to open an international headquarters in London.

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