Aussie invention leads to more IVF pregnancies

HONG KONG: Attendees at the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction have heard how an Australian invention has led to more IVF pregnancies. Genea’s Geri incubation system has seen a 24.3% increase in the number of pregnancies when compared to the traditional incubator and culture medium system*.

“This is a remarkable improvement for those struggling to conceive. To see an increase in pregnancy rates, supports what Genea has known for decades- leading technology in the lab improves outcomes for patients,” Genea’s Medical Director, Associate Professor Mark Bowman said.

The revolutionary IVF offering, significantly reduces the need for disturbance during the vital stages of an embryo’s development. In addition to an increase in pregnancy rates, the uninterrupted culture system presents another benefit, more high-grade embryos per cycle. On average, patients now have 26.9% more embryos which can be transferred or frozen for future use#.

“Not only are we creating better quality embryos for patients, but we are also producing more of them. The more viable embryos a patient has, the more likely they are to create their whole family from one stimulated egg collection cycle,” says Dr Bowman. A stimulated cycle with its injections, day surgery procedure and cost is more emotionally, financially and physically exhausting for patients. In contrast, the subsequent use of frozen embryos is less invasive, often drug free and not so expensive.

Committed to maximising the chance couples have of fulfilling their dream of becoming parents, Genea Scientific Director, Steven McArthur said; “The Geri incubation system is without doubt the best we’ve seen in our 33 years of experience.  It’s the closest we have come to mimicking the natural environment of a woman’s body.” He added; “these pregnancy results are further evidence that what happens behind the scenes in Genea laboratories is key to success. Our patients place a significant amount of trust in our incubation systems, our continuous improvement is testament to our commitment to improving patient outcomes for more than 30 years.”

Culture medium, the vital solution that supports embryo development outside the body, has traditionally needed to be replaced on different days of embryo development. Firstly, to support fertilisation, then when there is division of cells in the early embryo. Finally, it is replaced again when used for the blastocyst, the ball of cells developed by day five when the embryo is ready for transfer into the uterus. Additionally, at each point of development scientists spend time reviewing the embryos out of the incubator, exposing them to unfavourable elements.

However, Genea’s continuous culture Geri medium, a universal liquid that is suitable for every stage of embryo development, eliminates the need to change the solution and enables undisturbed embryo growth.

Traditionally, IVF clinics have used incubators that have more than one patients’ embryos in a single chamber with no time lapse camera, meaning the incubator had to be opened every time one patient’s embryo needed checking and/or when the medium needed to be changed.

Geri, Genea’s benchtop incubator with individually controlled incubation chambers per patient and time lapse camera, gives scientists’ continuous monitoring of embryos which eliminates the need to open the incubator to check on embryo development.  “We are very proud that an Australian led innovation is revolutionising IVF globally, whilst providing immediate benefit to patients who choose to use our services or clinics.” Mr McArthur said.

Geri is exclusive to Genea clinics in Australia but sold globally to clinics in Europe, Asia and North America.

These figures have undergone a peer review process and were presented at the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction in Hong Kong.

Foetal heart pregnancies. Study performed in Genea’s Canberra laboratory, 2015-2018.
# When compared to the MINC incubator and Gems sequential media. Study performed in Genea’s Canberra, Wollongong, Liverpool, North West, RPA and Kent St laboratories, 2015-2019.
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Meline Walton
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About Genea
Genea is one of Australia’s leading providers for infertility, IVF and other assisted conception treatment with 33 years of experience in the field. The company has long been a fertility pioneer, with research and technologies developed in-house virtually doubling IVF success rates in the mid-nineties and continuing to improve outcomes today. In July 2018, Genea was the highest ranked healthcare provider named on Australian Financial Review’s Top 100 Most Innovative Companies List, ranked number 18.

Genea’s sister company, Genea Biomedx creates and manufactures practical, accessible and precise fertility technologies that help standardise and automate fertility treatment. Its unique relationship with Genea Fertility means that Genea Biomedx is a manufacturer that truly understands the customers’ perspective. As a result, Genea Biomedx has developed the world’s first automated vitrification instrument and has created a world leading benchtop incubator with timelapse functionality.

About Gavi, Geri, Gems and Gidget
  • Gavi – the world’s first automated vitrification instrument; Vitrification is a process used in IVF to preserve human egg cells (oocytes) or embryos by cooling them to deep sub-zero degrees. Approaching the process in an innovative way, Gavi uses an automated, standardized protocol aiming to provide consistent results in blastocyst vitrification.
  • Geri - a benchtop incubator with individually controlled incubation chambers per patient to minimize disruptive events to the early-stage embryo. It also incorporates a camera for continuous monitoring of embryos as they develop.
  • Gems - the latest generation of Genea’s culture media for embryo cultivation.
  • Gidget - an innovative witnessing and tracking system that provides electronic witnessing, lab workflow management and support for traceability and audit reporting.