- Dr. Santiago Munné, a pioneer in preimplantation genetic diagnosis, presented the new test at the PGDIS Conference
- The novel laboratory test will not only detect genes inherited from parents, but will also reveal new mutations that could lead to ‘de novo’ diseases such as autism
PARIS, April 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dr. Santiago Munné, a pioneer in preimplantation genetic diagnosis, presented the first whole genome sequencing test in embryos before delegates at the 20th Conference of the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society (PGDIS), held this week in Paris.
In his plenary address attended by over 300 experts, Dr. Munné, an internationally recognized trailblazer in reproductive genetics, presented validation data for GenomeScreen, the test developed by the research team he leads at the biotechnology firm GenEmbryomics.
“We have known since we started working with embryo diagnostics back in 1993 that embryo selection would be key to pregnancy, especially in older patients. Over the last 30 years, our work has been focused on improving genetic embryo selection, though the definitive diagnostic approach—the one that provides the most information and the best outcomes—will doubtless be this one: whole genome sequencing of the embryo using just a few cells obtained from a biopsy. This test will open doors that we never knew existed,” says Munné of the work done at GenEmbryomics.
To understand the genome is to know everything about an embryo before transfer
GenomeScreen is a revolutionary new whole genome sequencing test for IVF embryos that has been described as “the most complete genetic test in IVF” by authorities at the PGDIS forum.
The test provides highly precise information on the genome sequence of the embryo and the genetic parents, offering families key preimplantation insights on embryo health and reproductive prognosis that can inform their decisions. Furthermore, this information will be invaluable to individuals born from IVF, as it will provide input on nutrigenomics or guidance on which medicines are most genetically suited to the patient.
“When we first started our research on embryo sequencing, our goal was to create a powerful, comprehensive tool that could equip fertility physicians with exhaustive data for precision screening,” recalls Dr. Nick Murphy, founder of GenEmbryomics. “Now that we have this tool and use it with 99% reliability, we are aware that this diagnosis not only provides information, but also substantially enhances the success of reproductive medicine,” adds Murphy.
Embryo sequencing will increase IVF success rates
Professor Munné, whose career as a leader in reproductive genetics spans over 20 years, has made enormous contributions to embryo selection and IVF treatment. With this test, he and his team of researchers solidify the role of genetic testing within reproductive medicine, increasing treatment success.
“The findings presented at the conference are the validation data for a test that will change embryo selection as we know it,” according to Munné. “Preimplantation genetic analysis with whole genome sequencing is a giant step forward: among other things, it will tell us which embryo will implant successfully, because we will know beforehand which one is truly healthy—the one that is free of diseases inherited from the parents or de novo illnesses, such as autism,” he concludes.
Founded by Dr. Nick Murphy in 2019, GenEmbryomics is a cutting-edge biotech company specializing in the genomic analysis of embryos to determine the most viable candidates for IVF implantation. Their work will lead to higher success rates in IVF cycles, thanks to their proprietary algorithms offering more accurate and efficient embryo selection based on each embryo’s whole genome.
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