Novalis participates in financing round of FERTIGA for further expansion of the Corona Test
Novalis investment in Fertiga
The Belgian female fertility company Fertiga announces the closure of its first financing round together with Novalis Biotech Incubation and international private investors.
Fertiga is a spin-off from Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Its product, the Corona Test was initially developed by the research team of Prof. Dr. Johan Smitz at VUB together with the pioneering fertility clinic UZBrussel. The Corona Test is an analysis of the cells surround the egg cell during an IVF treatment. The test result is used to select the best embryo and helps the patient to become pregnant faster. The funding will be used to further increase testing capacity at Fertiga and grow international access.
CEO Prof. André Rosenthal (serial biotech entrepreneur) from Fertiga commented: “Infertility is an underestimated disease and still many improvements can be done. The Corona Test is the first non-invasive test to determine the quality of egg cells. We are very pleased to welcome Novalis among Fertiga’s investors. Their support, demonstrated by this fundraising, will allow us to speed up our development of the Corona Test.”
Prof Wim Van Criekinge from Novalis added: The Corona Test has shown to be a major breakthrough in fertility treatment. It will help couples to increase pregnancy success rates and reduce their overall burden. It fits perfectly the types of innovative concepts in healthcare we are looking for. We are delighted to support Fertiga in reaching its goals.
About Fertiga (www.fertiga.com)
Fertiga nv is a spin-off from Vrije Universiteit Brussel(VUB) on the basis of research carried out over the past 10 years within the VUB and University hospital of Brussels (UZ Brussels). Our objective is to become a major player in improving fertility treatment outcomes. We improve efficiency of IVF by analysis of gene expressions in cells surrounding the egg cell. Our goal is to reach ‘one child with one try’.
About Novalis (www.noval.is)
Novalis Biotech Incubation seeds biotechnology and life sciences related companies. Novalis incubates own ideas or supports innovative start-ups in life-sciences. Our core competence lies in the interaction between bioinformatics, genomics and digitalization in life sciences. We strongly believe in applying innovative information technology to advance prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of a disease.
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Prospective Corona Test study shows doubling of pregnancy rates in IVF-ICSI treatments
In the March issue from the Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics (JARG), for the first time in history, a prospective clinical study on cumulus gene expression analysis was published. The study showed a doubling of pregnancy rates. The patients received a hormone stimulation with HP-hMG. A single day 3 embryo transfer was done after ICSI, based on a combination of embryo morphology and the Corona Test score. Pregnancy rates were 63% in the group with Corona Test versus 27% when ony morphology evaluation was used. This impressive achievement will open new opportunities for couples struggling with infertility.
Fertiga is launched as spin-off from VUB
The VUB Research Group Follicile Biology (FOBI) under the direction of Prof. Dr. Johan Smitz developed extensive knowledge and expertise in gene expression of cumulus cells. This resulted in the Corona Test, which is used for determining the oocyte quality in the process of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and social freezing.
The aim of the Corona Test is to increase the efficiency in IVF-ICSI by selecting the embryo from the oocyte with the highest quality. Results from the first prospective study showed doubling of the pregnancy rate by applying this test.
A second application is the improvement of the outcome of social freezing of oocytes.
Together with ex-employees of Roche Diagnostics, ir. Elien Van Hecke and Prof. Dr. André Rosenthal, Prof. Dr. Johan Smitz co-founded Fertiga in 2017 to further develop and validate this technology. In January 2019 the license agreement was signed and Fertiga became officially a spin-off of VUB.
Fertiga nv was founded in August 2017 on the basis of work carried out over the past 10 years within the Vrije Universiteit Brussel(VUB) and University hospital of Brussels (UZ Brussels) with the objective of becoming a major player in improving fertility treatment outcomes by analysis of gene expressions in cumulus cell surrounding the oocyte. In July 2018, they signed an exclusive license with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and in January 2019 the prospective validation of the Corona Test was published in Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics.
About Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)
Vrije Universiteit Brussel is an internationally oriented university in Brussels, the heart of Europe. By providing excellent research and education on a human scale, VUB wants to make an active and committed contribution to a better society.