OvaScience Publishes Article Highlighting the Role of Mitochondria in Improving Fertility Outcomes
Company’s technology is translating mitochondrial science into potential new fertility treatment options
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- OvaScienceSM, (Nasdaq: OVAS ) , a life sciences company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of new treatments for infertility, announced today the publication of an in-depth review article by Chief Scientific Officer, Scott Chappel, Ph.D., regarding the role of mitochondria in improving fertility outcomes. Mitochondria are the energy source of all cells, and inadequate mitochondrial activity has been implicated in poor embryo development and pregnancy failures. Studies have shown that increasing mitochondrial function improves egg quality and the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF). OvaScience is developing a proprietary product, AUGMENTSM, to improve egg quality by adding a woman’s own mitochondria to her egg during IVF.
“Over the past decade, our knowledge of mitochondrial function has increased significantly and our understanding of its essential role in healthy embryo development offers exciting possibilities for improving fertility outcomes,” said Dr. Chappel. “At OvaScience, we believe our approach to enhancing mitochondrial function during IVF may offer a new treatment option to the millions of women facing infertility.”
The article, titled “The Role of Mitochondria from Mature Oocyte to Viable Blastocyst,” was published online in the most recent issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology International. The overview provides important insights into the role of mitochondria in oocytes, or mature eggs, immediately prior to fertilization and up to the blastocyst stage. Blastocysts are embryos that have successfully undergone the initial stages of cell division, and therefore, confer a greater chance of pregnancy. The early process of cell division requires adequate energy supply obtained from functioning mitochondria. A growing body of data has demonstrated that adding mitochondria to the egg during this energy-intensive process advances embryo development to the blastocyst stage and increases the likelihood of implantation and pregnancy.
Over the past few years, researchers have reported the identification and characterization of egg precursor cells (EggPCSM), which are found on the outer edge of the ovaries. First discovered by OvaScience Co-Founder, Jonathan Tilly, Ph.D., these immature eggs offer an ideal source of mitochondria. OvaScience’s AUGMENT technology is being developed to identify and isolate a woman’s EggPCs and the mitochondria from these cells to add alongside the sperm during IVF. This “energy boost” has the potential to improve egg quality, and therefore, the success of IVF. OvaScience has plans to launch AUGMENT in the second half of 2014.
OvaScience (Nasdaq: OVAS ) is a life sciences company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of new treatments for infertility. The Company’s patented technology is based on the discovery of egg precursor cells (EggPCSM), which are found in the ovaries. By applying proprietary technology to identify and purify EggPCs, AUGMENTSM aims to improve egg quality and increase the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF). OvaScience’s team of scientists, physicians and advisers includes recognized leaders in the field of reproductive medicine. For more information, please visit www.ovascience.com.
This press release includes forward-looking statements about the Company’s strategy, future plans and prospects, including statements regarding the development and planned launch of the Company’s product candidates, including AUGMENT. Any statements in this release about our strategy, plans, prospects and future expectations, financial position and operations, and other statements containing the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “predict,” “project,” “target,” ”aim,” “potential,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “continue,” and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions under The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including risks related to: our expectations regarding the regulatory approvals required for AUGMENT; the science underlying our two product candidates, which is unproven; our ability to obtain, maintain and protect intellectual property utilized by our products; our ability to obtain additional funding to support our activities; our dependence on third parties; the successful development of, and ability to obtain regulatory approval for, our product candidates; our ability to commercialize our product candidates, including AUGMENT, on the timeline we expect, if at all; competition from others; and our short operating history; as well as those risks more fully discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of our most recently filed Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q or Annual Report on Form 10-K. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release reflect our current views with respect to future events. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements in the future, we specifically disclaim any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing our view as of any date subsequent to the date hereof.
Theresa McNeely, 617-299-7356
Head of Corporate Communications
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