Australian medtech startup Fertilis has announced Horizons Ventures as its lead investor, following an A$2.75 million seed round.
Founded in 2019, Fertilis is headquartered in Adelaide, Australia, and develops medical technology that transforms the IVF process by increasing IVF success rates. The company hopes this technology will facilitate the discovery of new treatments for a range of other chronic diseases, including cancer, diabetes and cystic fibrosis.
Fertilis Technology Helps Infertile Couples Get Pregnant Faster Through IVF
Infertility affects one in seven couples in the United States, and IVF has an 11% to 30% success rate.
Although performed by trained professionals, IVF is a complicated process, subject to external variables. Even human errors can have consequences for anxious patients, who must bear the financial and emotional consequences.
With Fertilis’ automation technology, some of these variables are removed, which can improve pregnancy rates.
Fertilis technology includes a new class of 3D printed micro-medical devices (0.01-1.0 mm in diameter, the width of a human hair) that can contain a single cell up to a small group of cells. This allows the cultivation of cells – such as an embryo – in micro-environments, which resemble the conditions of the human body. Through monitoring and automation, the cell environment can be changed in a controlled manner, eliminating the need for specialists to move cells multiple times throughout the process.
Fertilis technology reduces the number of cycles needed to get pregnant by 30-40%. Women typically need three cycles of IVF to get pregnant, but Fertilis’ technology can cut that number down to two.
The funding will allow the Fertilis team to expand its scientific development and in 2022 it will enter global IVF clinical trials, to commercialize the application of cell culture automation.
Fertilis hopes to enter the IVF market in 2023 and then enter other parts of the healthcare industry, including gene therapy.
Giving more control to fertility lab technicians
“Due to its ability to dramatically increase the accuracy and productivity of cell culture laboratory processes, we believe Fertilis’ technology will have a transformative impact on a wide range of healthcare applications ranging from diagnosis and treatment to the creation of specific cell culture products”, mentioned Chris Liu, Horizons Ventures. “We look forward to working closely with Fertilis as the company begins clinical trials next year and expands internationally thereafter.”
“IVF can be an incredibly difficult and stressful experience, full of anxiety and uncertainty,” said Professor Jeremy Thompson, Founder, CSO and Principal Investigator. “Each failed attempt is devastating to aspiring parents and it is heartbreaking for them to know that an IVF cycle is even more likely to fail than to succeed. IVF is a fragile and complicated process with many variables; things like handling and transferring embryos from dish to dish, even the air quality in a lab can affect the outcome.Our technology allows for greater accuracy and consistency, which means we can to offer women and couples with fertility problems a better chance of getting pregnant and having a healthy baby.
“We believe our technology represents the most significant development in cell culture accuracy and consistency in over 30 years,” said Marty Gauvin, co-founder and CEO. “Starting with IVF, we will work with clinics and labs to create solutions that occupy the same space as their incubators today. We partner with IVF facilities around the world to conduct large-scale clinical trials. scale; a crucial step in making this medical breakthrough available to couples and individuals struggling with infertility. For the clinics themselves, we believe our offering is compelling; our technology is easy to adopt, it is more reliable and transparent, giving lab technicians better control. This unique enabling technology is the future of IVF treatment and cell culture.”