OvaScience, a life sciences company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of female fertility treatments, has received two United States patents covering its Augment fertility treatment. Augment is based on the company’s egg precursor cell (EggPC) technology and is being developed to improve egg quality and the success of in vitro fertilization (IVF). Augment will be available in international IVF clinics this year.
“The new patents strengthen and extend the protection for Augment in support of our efforts to offer a potential new fertility treatment option to women and families,” said Michelle Dipp, chief executive officer of OvaScience. “We continue to aggressively pursue additional patents covering our EggPC technology and related fertility applications throughout the world.”
The issuance of these two patents builds upon the company’s Composition of Matter patent on EggPCs, and provides further protection for Augment through at least 2032. The newly issued patents broadly cover the Augment process, including: IVF by Augment; preparing an egg for use with assisted reproductive technologies (ART); and increasing the energy-generating capacity of an egg by Augment.
OvaScience plans to introduce Augment this year through an international programme called ‘ACE’ or Augment Centres of Excellence, which will enable physicians to gain experience using Augment and generate data. The company expects to establish ACE clinics in at least four international regions and record 40 to 60 Augment cycles in 2014. These IVF clinics in the ACE programme will transition to commercial centers by year end. As part Augment, mitochondria (or ‘energy’) from a woman’s EggPCs found in her ovaries are added to her mature egg at the time of fertilization during an IVF cycle.