Darmstadt, Germany, May 28, 2015 – Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a leading company for innovative and top-quality high-tech products in healthcare, life science and performance materials today announced a global collaboration agreement with the fertility technologies expert Genea Biomedx, an Australian company, dedicated to advancing fertility science and helping couples create families. With this partnership, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, a global market leader in drugs for Assisted Reproductive Treatment (ART), receives global marketing and commercialization rights to Genea Biomedx’s product portfolio. This comprises Gavi, Geri and Gems product lines for use in the IVF (in vitro fertilization) laboratories which are expected to receive CE mark in Europe shortly, as well as a joint development pipeline. Gavi, Geri and Gems are not cleared for use in the U.S.
Gavi is a fully-automated vitrification instrument, focusing on lab processes that could reduce potential errors and possibly increase laboratory efficiency in cryopreservation of embryos and in the future for oocytes (eggs). Geri is a benchtop incubator fitted with a time-lapse camera to capture images of embryos as they develop and individually controlled incubation chambers per patient to potentially reduce disruptive events to the early-stage embryo. Gems is the latest generation of Genea’s culture media for embryo cultivation.
The collaboration is part of the company’s strategy to continue to provide fertility solutions to its customers to increase success rates. With the global rights to these three product lines and future developments, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany is expanding its market position, offering key potentially outcome improving technologies to support standardization, automation and objectivity. To further strengthen this position, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, will closely collaborate with Genea Biomedx to jointly develop other innovative technology products and services, and have formed a development hub to pave the way for further improvements for the patient.
“As a pioneer in reproductive health, we are continuously seeking to extend our product portfolio to bring innovative science and services to the fertility community,” said BelÚn Garijo, Member of the Executive Board of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and CEO Healthcare. “There is significant need for improved technologies in fertility treatment, since the majority of issues in ART are beyond drug therapy. The key priority of our Fertility Technologies unit is to advance our fertility portfolio beyond drugs and to enable innovation in technologies and services. Entering a global partnership with Genea will allow us to introduce innovative technologies in the ART market, further aiming to improve outcomes throughout the in vitro fertilization process. We are dedicated to help patients realize their dream of creating a family.”
“Advancing the science of fertility treatment to improve outcomes and success rates for patients worldwide is Genea’s mission and we are excited that this agreement helps us continue to bring that aim to fruition,” said Tomas Stojanov CEO of Genea. “The launch of the three products, Gems, Gavi and Geri, is just the beginning of a unique collaboration between our two companies which will deliver innovative, high-technology products and thinking to fertility clinics around the world.”
The collaboration showcases both companies’ commitment to improve fertility treatment. Both Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Genea Biomedx have a strong heritage in fertility treatment and will build on this expertise to invent and develop innovative fertility technologies. The collaboration is effective from May 1, 2015. Financial details of the agreement are not being disclosed.
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 other projects well advanced in the product pipeline.
Gavi, Geri and Gems
• Gavi – will be 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 time-lapse camera to capture images of embryos as they develop.
• Gems - the latest generation of Genea’s culture media for embryo cultivation.