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Companies Form Fertility Treatment Technologies Alliance

Pregnant woman

(Greyerbaby, Pixabay)

8 June 2015. An alliance of drug, genomic, and assisted fertility technology companies are collaborating on processes and standards that encourage more consistency in results from assisted reproductive treatment labs. Financial details of the Global Fertility Alliance joining Illumina, Merck, and Genea were not disclosed.

The three companies aim to improve outcomes in fertility clinics by encouraging more standardization of processes and protocols in labs analyzing clients’ test results. Partners in the alliance say variations in practices and techniques are resulting in inconsistent outcomes, leading to uncertainties and disappointment in many cases. Better standardization, say the companies, also fosters more innovation in the field.

Global Fertility Alliance plans to encourage standardization of assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) in three areas. The collaboration will foster greater integration of leading technologies, and then work with health care providers and medical societies to develop standards applicable worldwide. The alliance also plans to develop training programs, including access to model labs, for health care professionals.

Illumina Inc. in San Diego is a developer of genomic sequencing technologies for clinical and research applications, including reproductive health. Merck, in Darmstadt, Germany is a developer of pharmaceuticals, including fertility drugs. Illumina and Merck say they already collaborate on other treatments.

“By forging the Global Fertility Alliance with partners like Illumina and Genea, we aim to support the development of needed global standards in ART labs,” says Meeta Gulyani, Merck’s director of global strategy and franchises, in a joint statement. “This will ensure a consistently high level of performance between different centers and countries.”

Genea is a group of three companies, operating fertility clinics in Australia, New Zealand, and Thailand. Other Genea subsidiaries develop fertility treatment technologies, and design therapeutic stem cell platforms.  The companies plan to officially launch the Global Fertility Alliance on 13 June at a meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Lisbon, Portugal.

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