OvaScience, a global fertility company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of new treatment options, announced that the world’s first augmented baby has been born in Canada. Now, researchers at the company are optimistic that their experience will show couples, especially those who suffer from poor egg health, that they have a new option to have their own biological child.
The parents of the newborn baby boy stated the before the Augment Treatment, they had struggled with infertility due to poor egg quality and felt somewhat discouraged. They go on to add that their experience will show couples, especially those who suffer from poor egg health, that they have a new option to have their own biological child.
The researchers explain that egg health is a key factor in female fertility. While many factors contribute to egg health, having adequate levels of energy-producing mitochondria inside of the egg is essential for healthy fertilization and embryo development.
The Augment Treatment is designed to improve the health of a woman’s existing eggs, and enhance the IVF procedure. The Augment Treatment uses the energy-producing mitochondria from a woman’s own EggPC cells, which are immature egg cells found in the protective lining of the ovaries, to supplement the existing mitochondria in her eggs. This treatment is designed to improve egg health by increasing the eggs’ energy levels for embryo development.
The team state that as women age egg health is compromised, however, many younger women also have poor egg health for various reasons. One in six couples worldwide has trouble getting pregnant naturally. IVF is the standard infertility treatment; however, it often fails. Many physicians believe that poor egg health accounts for the majority of female-related infertility. The researchers noted that the mother’s eggs and embryo quality in the current study were extremely poor, despite the woman’s young age of 34 years. Based on the researchers assessment of significantly diminished embryo quality in a failed IVF cycle and several other factors contributing to her infertility, the patient had few options.
The team state they have observed firsthand the positive impact the Augment Treatment has on pregnancy rates, particularly in women with poor prognoses. They go on to add that the success of IVF depends on many factors; however, most fertility experts agree that egg and embryo quality are key prognostic indicators. The Augment Treatment was developed to address egg and embryo quality, and the team are pleased to continue providing the this new IVF technique to women who are seeking new options.
The researchers conclude that their mission is to bring new fertility treatment options to women with the goal of helping them build their families. The team are now looking forward to bringing the Augment Treatment to more women around the world as well as future treatment options from their egg precursor cell technology.