ReproUnion Strengthens Capacity in Infertility Research
In an effort to find new, more efficient, personalised and cost efficient treatment regimens for reproductive medicine, Medicon Valley Alliance has launched the three-year project ReproUnion, funded by the EU Interreg V programme.
More than 10% of couples have fertility problems and more than 50% of those seek some form of medical care. Infertility is as common as, for instance, diabetes (15-20%) and WHO has classed infertility a disease.
Despite revolutionary developments in the techniques for assisted reproduction (ART), the ’baby take home rate’ is still below 30%, with declining success rate with increasing age. In an effort to find new, more efficient, personalised and cost efficient treatment regimens, Medicon Valley Alliance has teamed up with a number of stakeholders and launched the three-year project ReproUnion, funded by the EU Interreg V programme.
ReproUnion encompasses a network of 14 clinical and research units within the Capital Region of Denmark, Region Zealand of Denmark and Region Skåne. Key clinical competences include: High standard IVF and ICSI treatment including use of recent methods for embryo selection; Extended evaluation of the male partner in order to find the best treatment options for the couple and prevent long term squeal of infertility; Sperm DNA analysis; Andrological surgery and treatment of ejaculatory dysfunction; Gonadal cryopreservation; Gamete donation; Assessment and counselling regarding environmental reproductive risks at the individual and the group level.
20 New Cross-Border Projects
The overall aim is to establish a common, multi-disciplinary, Reproductive Medicine Centre including R&D, education and career development as well as treatment and prevention. The objective of the science part of the centre, called ReproScience, is to strengthen the region’s research capacity within infertility. Approximately 30 senior researchers and more than 50 PhD students are engaged in over 20 new cross-border projects with more than 20 new research positions.
The business partner of ReproUnion is Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a company with a strong focus on innovation in Reproductive Health.
"Treatment of infertility is one of Ferring’s key areas of interest and therefore our R&D efforts are firmly committed to progress in the field of ART. We're always looking for new ways of improving existing products as well as finding interesting leads and ideas for novel therapies in this field," says Marcel van Duin, PhD, Senior Director, Therapeutic Area Head Reproductive Health & Endocrinology Research at Ferring’s Research Institute in San Diego.
”Together with our Development colleagues at the International PharmaScience Center in Copenhagen we see the importance of external opportunities to help expand our R&D portfolio. So, it is attractive for us to partner in this project,” he adds.
”Not all of the ReproUnion research projects are equally interesting to Ferring, but engaging external experts is important for us. Discussing and interacting with these scientists can help us generate new ideas or design new studies. We highly value the opportunity to tap into ReproUnion’s critical mass and hope that some of the projects will turn into Ferring projects. It's also a way for us to get in contact with young talents who may become future employees or collaboration partners in Ferring projects,” Marcel van Duin comments.