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BlueGnome's 24sure IVF Offering Validated in European Study

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By Justin Petrone

BlueGnome announced this week the results of European study that evaluated the ability of its 24sure array-based in vitro fertilization screening service to assess pre-implantation embryos for chromosomal abnormalities.

The study by the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology's task force on pre-implantation genetic screening confirmed that 24sure could predict abnormalities in 89 percent of cases. The study also confirmed that results were available within 12 hours, enabling use of 24sure in a fresh IVF cycle, BlueGnome said.

Cambridge, UK-based BlueGnome launched 24sure last year (BAN 9/8/2009). The service combines BlueGnome’s own molecular and mathematical technology with SurePlex amplification systems licensed from Rubicon Genomics, and relies on a bacterial artificial chromosome array and software to screen for abnormal or aneuploid chromosomes.

24sure is used to confirm that the correct number of chromosomes is present in the cells used in the formation of human eggs and embryos. Aneuploidy, or the presence of an abnormal number of chromosomes, is considered a source of infertility, and by identifying such cells in an IVF cycle, it may be possible to improve IVF success rates, according to BlueGnome.

Joep Geraedts, a professor of genetics and cell biology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and the coordinator of ESHRE's PGS task force, said in a statement that the organization "hopes this approach will in the future effectively improve results in assisted reproduction." He noted that chromosome errors are the "predominant cause of non-viability of the embryo."

BlueGnome CEO Nick Haan said that the company has processed over 200 consented clinical cases using 24sure to date and has "demonstrated a significant increase in the success of pregnancies within this challenging group of patients." He said the firm is now working with IVF centers in "over 15 countries to ensure that 24sure is widely available as we await publication of further studies into its clinical efficacy."

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