CooperSurgical fertility companies attended the 11th International Congress of Andrology (ICA 2017) 6-9th May, which was held for the first time in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Hosted by the Danish Andrological Society at the Bella Center, the event attracted over 400 participants which comprised a mix of Urologists, Andrologists, and Oncologists.
A small event, in terms of exhibitors, the large CooperSurgical booth attracted much interest particularly from attendees who were interested to learn how our Andrology products are integrated with those from our full product range.
Product trials show promising results
Amongst a long list of reputable speakers from across the industry, the ORIGIO sponsored symposium included a talk by guest speaker Dr Jackson Kirkman-Brown, Science Lead at Birmingham Women’s Fertility Centre.
His thirty-five-minute talk, entitled “The Best Sperm for the Best Embryo”, focused on the most effective way to purify sperm for IVF. Attendees also learned more about Hab Select, a PICSI® Dish, and HBA® Assay trial currently underway in the UK that has been running for three years.
Both products use hyaluronan, a natural biomarker for sperm maturity. The HBA binding assay is designed to provide a qualitative assessment of sperm quality, maturity, and fertilizing potential. The PICSI Dish contains microdots of hyaluronan to which mature sperm with enhanced DNA integrity will bind allowing easy selection for ICSI.
Involving almost 3,000 patients, the trial is using leftover sperm from cycles undertaken in fifteen UK clinics. The primary goal is to identify the proportion of women who experience a live birth after 37 weeks. The trial also includes a mechanistic arm, which looks at the correlation between DNA fragmentation and HBA scores.
The trial finishes in August this year, the results of which will be published, at the latest, in January 2018.
Andrology workshop at ORIGIO HQ
After the Congress, Ida Jans, ORIGIO’s International Product Manager accompanied a group of delegates to an andrology workshop held at ORIGIO in Målov, Copenhagen. During the event, Dr David Morroll, ORIGIO’s Director of Embryology gave a one-hour lecture on minimizing DNA fragmentation and deselecting damaged sperm.
A tour followed, which demonstrated ORIGIO’s media production facilities. Ida then gave a half hour talk on the correct composition of media required for sperm processing, and its importance, which included the right iron concentration and the presence of particular proteins.
“Andrologists often use media that is already present in the lab and which is not specific to sperm selection,” Ida warned, “this is not the best way to get optimum results.
“It’s also an historical error that pH levels for sperm must be maintained at 7.4 as for oocytes. We now know that sperm naturally encounters a more alkaline pH, which actually stimulates higher motility and helps sperm penetrate the tough barrier present in the female reproductive tract”.
A demonstration and hands-on session in the training lab concluded the workshop, where participants were able to use SpermSlow™ and the PICSI Dish on an ICSI rig. “This was great, as delegates were able to see first-hand how the media worked using the RI Integra 3™ micromanipulator,” said Ida.
“The workshop was a good opportunity for ICA delegates to hear about the benefits of hyaluronan binding as a sperm selection tool, and how it can easily be introduced into clinical practice,” added David Morroll.
Results from the large trial will be available early next year, so keep checking our blog and social media channels for an announcement and further information.