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IVI RMA Global and Lavima Fertility join forces in research in fertility treatments


VALENCIA, Spain and BRUSSELS, July 03, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Seeking alternatives to obtain oocytes without ovarian stimulation is a pioneering line of research in reproductive medicine. The inconveniences that the process of ovarian stimulation can generate are a current barrier for some women and couples who are considering starting a reproductive treatment. In fact, 1 out of every 5 couples do not start the search for a second child for this reason.

Ovarian stimulation is the initial part of assisted reproduction treatments, and it is the phase of infertility treatments in which the least relevant advances have been achieved to date. It is one of the main psychological barriers for women when deciding to begin this path towards motherhood. Many of them are concerned about how this process may affect them physically and emotionally.

With the aim of making progress in this field, IVI RMA GLOBAL has signed an exclusive agreement with Lavima Fertility, Inc., a US company in the fertility sector which owns the rights to CAPA-IVM, a completely novel hormone-free fertility treatment technology. Together, IVI RMA Global and Lavima Fertility have opened a pioneering line of research aimed at eliminating ovarian stimulation in women who wish to begin assisted reproduction or egg vitrification treatment.

"We are aware that the ovarian stimulation phase can be faced with some anxiety and can be a brake on the decision to begin treatment. For this reason, at IVI and together with Lavima Fertility, we have taken the initiative and we are going to challenge science to try to optimize this very delicate part of the treatment for some patients," explains Dr. Nuria Pellicer, gynecologist at IVI Valencia.

A clinical study has begun at the IVI Valencia headquarters under the direction of Dr. Ernesto Bosch, director of the clinic, and Dr. Nuria Pellicer, together with the scientific director of IVI RMA Global, Dr. Juan Antonio García Velasco. Lavima Fertility is supporting this clinical study by providing the CAPA-IVM and culture media supplements that allow immature oocytes to mature outside of the women’s ovaries in vitro and without the need of ovarian stimulation. This investigation will later be joined by the rest of the IVI RMA Global group's clinics.

"Our main objective is to continue benefiting women through research, and to eliminate the psychological barrier of those who decide not to start treatment, worried about the physical and emotional effect that ovarian stimulation may have on them, although the symptoms associated with this process are usually moderate and pass in a few days," says Dr. Bosch.

In spite of being a fundamental step in the treatment of fertility, it is estimated that 20% of couples who would like to look for a second child do not do so due to their reluctance regarding the possible effects of ovarian stimulation: "Finding formulas to improve this process from science is an exciting and hopeful project for us, in our continuous research work, and allows us to continue helping in a pioneering way and with the latest advances to women who trust us with their greatest desire," concludes Dr. Pellicer.

"Avoiding controlled ovarian stimulation together with the trigger hormones in ART represents clearly a great scientific and clinical innovation," says Prof. Dr. Johan Smitz from Lavima Fertility.

Immature eggs are retrieved from unstimulated small follicles. The oocyte-cumulus-complexes are then matured in a novel two-step process in vitro using several culture media supplements. This technology is called CAPA-IVM. Five randomized clinical studies have been conducted in Asia and over 850 babies have been born already using this novel hormone free fertility treatment technology, underlying the safety of CAPA-IVM.

"We are excited about the research collaboration between IVI RMA Global and Lavima Fertility in the field of hormone-free fertility treatment. IVI RMA Global is the largest IVF chain in the world and working together with IVI RMA Global clinics in this field would allow to bring CAPA-IVM to many more patients worldwide in the future," concludes Prof. Smitz.

About IVI
IVI was founded in 1990 as the first medical institution in Spain to specialize entirely in Human Reproduction. Since then, it has helped more than 250,000 children to be born thanks to constant innovation and the development of the most innovative assisted reproduction treatments.

It is one of the European centers with the best pregnancy rates; in fact, most couples who consult IVI for infertility problems achieve their goal. In addition, it has a team of more than 2,500 professionals, including the best gynecologists in the world.
IVI is part of the IVI RMA Global group, present in 15 countries. In addition to Spain, it is present in Portugal, Italy, the Czech Republic, the Nordic countries, United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Panama, Brazil and Chile.

For more information:
Lucía Renau
Ricardo Pedrós

Anaïs Priego
Clara Martínez

About Lavima Fertility, Inc.
Lavima Fertility was founded in 2020 as a spin-off from the Free University of Brussels (VUB). Lavima owns the worldwide exclusive license to the CAPA-IVM technology which was originally developed at Free University of Brussels by Prof. Johan Smitz and co-workers. The CAPA-IVM technology is a novel, completely hormone free fertility treatment technology. Several thousands of patients have been treated with CAPA-IVM in Asian countries and Australia. More than 850 babies have been born after CAPA-IVM cycles. The CAPA-IVM technology is protected by granted patents in major territories. Lavima Fertility is cooperating with leading IVF clinics to evaluate the CAPA-IVM technology for various patient cohorts with the aim to further optimize the technology and complete the clinical development of the CAPA-IVM System Kit.

For more information:
Andé Rosenthal
Johan Smitz

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