MSD, Illumina and Genea form the Global Fertility Alliance

Posted: 8 June 2015 | Victoria White

The Global Fertility Alliance is a new collaboration to advance excellence in fertility technologies within the assisted reproductive treatment laboratory…

MSD has announced the formation of the Global Fertility Alliance, a new collaboration to advance excellence in fertility technologies and processes within the assisted reproductive treatment (ART) laboratory.

The alliance is a partnership between MSD, the biopharmaceutical business of Merck, Illumina, a leader in developing and commercializing systems for analysis of genetic variation and function, and Genea, which develops innovative fertility technologies.

“We are the global leader in the field of fertility drugs and committed to supporting the success and improvement in ART by going beyond drugs with innovative technologies,” explained Meeta Gulyani, Head of Global Strategy and Franchises at MSD. “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. This will ensure a consistently high level of performance between different centers and countries.”

The alliance aims to improve the consistency in ART worldwide and addresses the need for more standardisation of fertility processes within the ART laboratory. The three companies will launch their initiative at the 31st Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in Lisbon, Portugal, on 13 June 2015. This is another important step for MSD towards establishing global standards in the growing market of fertility technologies and the ultimate goal of helping families to have a baby.

With the establishment of the alliance, MSD, Illumina and Genea emphasise their desire to help improve fertility outcomes by contributing to the standardisation of technologies and protocols in ART labs. Currently, variation in practices and techniques can lead to inconsistent results and outcomes. Recognising the importance of innovation in ART technologies, the alliance aims to enhance progress and innovation in three ways:

  • the founding members aim to foster integration of multiple, leading fertility technologies;
  • building on this, the alliance will aim to collaborate with leading health care professionals and medical societies to develop global standards;
  • as technologies in the fertility space are rapidly advancing, the alliance will also develop educational resources for health care professionals worldwide.

Global Fertility Alliance aims to advance the science of fertility treatment

Illumina’s Senior Vice President and General Manager of Reproductive and Genetic Health, Tristan Orpin, also highlighted the significance of the alliance for the reproductive biology community, “Illumina has a strong commitment to improving in vitro fertilisation (IVF) outcomes through the use of industry leading genomics but appreciates that there are many factors that impact ART outcomes. Founding the Global Fertility Alliance together with MSD and Genea represents an exciting opportunity for us to share our knowledge and experience with the wider community and to help bring alignment and higher consistency to ART practices worldwide. Having already partnered with MSD in other treatment areas, we are confident this collaboration of innovators in the fertility field will deliver a significant positive impact for health care professionals, fertility labs, and most importantly their patients.”

“Increasing success rates for patients worldwide and advancing the science of fertility treatment is an integral part of our mission,” said Tomas Stojanov, CEO of Genea. “The new Global Fertility Alliance for excellence in ART will drive automation and standardisation in the field and support health care professionals in providing their patients with the best possible outcomes.”

In order to rapidly progress the initiative, MSD, Illumina and Genea will actively contribute to the alliance and establish a board of representatives, which will meet regularly. At the same time, the companies invite new members, who demonstrate a consistent commitment to driving technology innovation and improving ART results, to join the alliance.

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