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Study shows CHLOE AI’s role in advancing reproductive health research

Researchers can use Fairtility’s AI tool to further their understanding of embryo and oocyte development

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Fairtility, the transparent AI innovator powering reproductive care for improved outcomes, has announced the highlights of a new study published in Nature’s Scientific Reports. 

The study, focused on blastocyst morphometric parameters’ impact on implantation potential, highlights how Fairtility’s transparent AI decision support technology, CHLOE, can support academic research in the field of assisted reproductive technologies.

The study, entitled An artificial intelligence algorithm for automated blastocyst morphometric parameters demonstrates a positive association with implantation potential, was led by Professor Iris Har Vardi, director of Fertility and IVF Lab at Soroka University Medical Center and senior lecturer at Ben Gurion University in the Faculty of Health Sciences. Har Vardi also serves as a scientific advisor to Fairtility.

Automatic measurements of blastocyst morphometrics. (a) A day-5 blastocyst with trophectoderm (TE) and inner cell mass (ICM) cells. (b) The same embryo with markings. Blue represents the hand drawn segmentation around the outer part of the TE cells, excluding the area occupied by the zona pellucida. Green represents the ellipse that best fits around the segmented ICM pixels in the least-squares sense. Red represents the diameter of the embryo.

The study included 608 transferred blastocysts that were selected using morphokinetics and Gardner criteria. Retrospectively, researchers deployed CHLOE to automatically assess four morphometric parameters: blastocyst size, inner cell mass (ICM) size, ICM-to-blastocyst size ratio and ICM shape.

Researchers found that blastocyst size had a significant positive association with implantation such that with every 1 μm increase in blastocyst size, there was a relative increase in the odds of implantation by 2.1 per cent.

Applying CHLOE to assess these parameters retrospectively, was possible due to CHLOE’s advanced, consistent and automated assessment.

These capabilities enable researchers to study various events, biomarkers, timing and ratios objectively that were previously not possible, providing new insights for treatment decisions and opening up tremendous opportunity for more research to advance the field.

“CHLOE’s AI algorithms enabled us to measure various embryo components automatically with higher accuracy and speed than us, the embryologists,” explained Professor Har Vardi.

“As a researcher and a clinical embryologist, AI provides a powerful new tool and opens endless possibilities to further explore basic science and clinical parameters.

Professor Iris Har Vardi, director of Fertility and IVF Lab at Soroka University Medical Center and senior lecturer at Ben Gurion University 

“This research highlights the potential for enhanced blastocyst selection in the IVF process using AI technology, which offers great promise for improving the effectiveness and personalisation of reproductive healthcare.”

Researchers can utilise CHLOE to further their understanding of embryo and oocyte development that may enhance current workflows, protocols and practice of reproductive health care.

Eran Eshed, co-founder and CEO of Fairtility, said: “Our mission at Fairtility is to advance and improve reproductive care through CHLOE, our AI powered software platform.

“We promote this in clinical settings through our product offerings and in academic settings to advance the science and understanding of reproductive health.

“We can leverage AI technologies to elevate care in clinics, and ensure researchers continue to advance our understanding to improve patient care in the long term.”

CHLOE is currently being used in tens of clinics around the world. Clinicians utilise CHLOE EQ for automated embryo quality assessment in IVF, CHLOE OQ to support oocyte assessment for fertility preservation, egg donation and in IVF decision making, and CHLOE KPI for clinical and operational performance monitoring.

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Labcorp launches screening test to identify preeclampsia risk sooner

The new screening tool is capable of assessing the risk of preeclampsia sooner, the test maker says

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Labcorp has launched a screening test that can assess the risk of preeclampsia before 34 weeks of pregnancy.

Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure disorder that can develop during pregnancy or postpartum and is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide.

Roughly one in 25 pregnancies in the US is affected by preeclampsia, which poses an even greater risk for non-Hispanic black women, who experience the condition at a 60 per cent higher rate compared to white women.

In January, Labcorp announced the launch and availability of an FDA-cleared blood test for risk assessment and clinical management of severe preeclampsia during the second and third trimesters.

The first trimester test uses four early pregnancy biomarkers to provide a risk assessment with up to 90 per cent sensitivity, nearly twice the sensitivity of assessing typical maternal history or biophysical factors alone.

According to Labcorp, the test results provide risk identification earlier than traditional symptoms, such as hypertension or protein in the urine, which tend to develop around 20 weeks gestation.

Eleni Tsigas, chief executive officer of the Preeclampsia Foundation, said: “Our organisation celebrates this innovative new test offering.

“Research shows that patients and providers want access to more tools that better predict progression to preeclampsia, especially for those patients with low- to average-risk or those with first-time pregnancies for whom there is some uncertainty.”

Dr Brian Caveney, chief medical and scientific officer at Labcorp, added: “Labcorp is committed to advancing maternal and foetal health through innovative diagnostic and screening solutions.

“This new first trimester blood test is another significant milestone in our mission to improve health and improve lives. By giving healthcare providers another tool to assess preeclampsia risk in their pregnant patients with objective biomarkers, we’re helping to advance prenatal care and improve outcomes for mothers and their babies.”

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People with HIV can be sperm and egg donors

A change in law will allow people with non-transmissible HIV in the UK to donate gametes to partners

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Same-sex couples with non-transmissible HIV will now be able to donate eggs or sperm and become parents.

People with HIV will able to donate their sperm or eggs to their partners, as the law in the UK is updated.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act will be amended via a statutory instrument to allow people with non-transmissible HIV – with a viral load low enough not to pass on – to donate eggs or sperm, known as gametes, as part of fertility treatment to their partners.

Under current rules on IVF, only a male partner with HIV can give their sperm to their female partner and not to anyone else.

The law change will also eliminate extra screening costs for female same-sex couples undertaking reciprocal IVF treatment.

The government says this is part of wider work to improve access to IVF for everyone and ensure same-sex couples have the same rights as a man and woman when trying to conceive.

“These changes will allow more people to fulfil their dream of becoming parents,” said UK health minister, Maria Caulfield.

“We have changed the law to ensure equality for people living with HIV when accessing IVF, allowing them to donate their eggs and sperm.

“In addition, the change will allow female same-sex couples to access IVF with no extra screening costs, the same as heterosexual couples.”

She added: “These changes will help create a fairer system by removing barriers to accessing fertility care as we have set out in the Women’s Health Strategy.”

The changes to the law will allow people with HIV to donate their gametes to family, friends and known recipients.

The regulations include an updated definition of partner donation to enable female same-sex couples wishing to donate eggs to each other to undergo the same testing requirements as heterosexual couples.

Under current rules, female same-sex couples hoping to conceive via reciprocal IVF must first go through screening for syphilis and genetic screening, such as cystic fibrosis, which can cost over £1,000, while heterosexual couples do not need to undergo this screening.

Julia Chain, chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said: “The HFEA welcomes the news that legislation regarding partner donation in relation to reciprocal IVF, and gamete donation from those who have HIV with an undetectable viral load, has now been proposed in Parliament.

“Fertility treatment is helping more people than ever to create their family, and everyone undergoing fertility treatment should be treated fairly.

“For known donation from individuals with undetectable HIV, we anticipate that the first clinics may be able to begin to offer this treatment around 3 months following a change in the law.

“We encourage any patients or donors who may be affected by these changes to visit the HFEA website to find out free and impartial information, including about how to choose a fertility clinic.”

Minister for equalities, Stuart Andrew MP, added: “Treatment for HIV has improved significantly, saving countless lives, but the stigma surrounding it persists – a stigma which often prevents people from getting tested and seeking treatment.

“These changes will help to reduce that stigma, making it clear that people with HIV can live full and happy lives. I am delighted by these changes which will enable more people to experience the joy of becoming parents.”

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Portfolia invests total of US$65m into women’s health companies

The platform has invested in 47 femtech start-ups to date

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Trish Costello, founder and CEO of Portfolia

The US venture investing platform Portfolia has announced it has invested a total of US$65m into women’s health companies and solutions.

Portfolia aims to create, educate and support the largest community of women investors in the world.

The company says it was amongst the first to recognise the “immense” potential of women’s wealth, with women’s health at the forefront.

To date, Portfolia has made investments in 112 companies with 47 of those women’s health companies being femtech and active aging specific.

Some of these include Madison Reed, Maven, Everly Health, Bone Health, Veana, Your Choice, Future Family, Willow, Hey Jane, Lighthouse Pharma, L-Nutra and JoyLux.

The total companies Portfolia has invested in are estimated to serve over 102 million customers in 115 countries worldwide.

These companies have a combined value of over US$17bn, with over US$1bn in revenue and 10,000 employees worldwide.

According to Portfolia, almost 70 per cent of these businesses are led by female CEOs, and 49 per cent are led by BIPOC individuals.

“At Portfolia, we believe in the power of activating our wealth for returns and impact,” said Trish Costello, founder and CEO of Portfolia.

“Today, women in the United States have unprecedented access to wealth – with over US$25tn of wealth in the US and almost 50 per cent of it owned by women.

“This wealth is power – power to create financial change and invest in the companies and businesses that matter to us and meet our needs/desires.”

She added: “Our commitment goes beyond traditional venture capital – we’re pioneering change, saving lives, and creating opportunities for all, while creating the most powerful community of women investors globally, and the first to activate our wealth to shape the future of healthcare.”

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