neoMimix: Natural Sperm Selection

University of Limerick Background
One in six couples require fertility treatment. There are two ways to fertilise eggs in vitro:

Traditional in vitro fertilisation (IVF), whereby, sperm are placed on top of the eggs, and they fertilise themselves. OR,
Intra cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), whereby the embryologist selects a sperm and injects it into the egg.

Of the ~700,000 assisted reproduction cycles annually in Europe, 62% of these are ICSI. In the USA this is 70%.
For ICSI, the embryologist must select the sperm used to fertilise the egg, which leads to a baby. They do this by first centrifuging the sperm through a density gradient followed by selection of a motile and morphologically normal sperm.
If the selected sperm has fragmented DNA, the risk of miscarriage increases two-fold. The embryologist cannot determine if the selected sperm has fragmented DNA as the method for determining this destroys the sperm.
There is increasing evidence that sperm quality is linked to post-natal and adult health.
Technology Overview
The University of Limerick has developed an innovative microfluidics-based sperm sorting platform: neoMimix
This process selects sperm that are i) motile (mostly progressively motile) ii) have a higher percentage of morphologically normal sperm and iii) have a significantly lower percentage of DNA fragmentation in the selected sperm compared to the industry norm of density gradient. The embryologist is thus presented with a population of superior quality sperm for use in ICSI, IVF or IUI.
The proposed solution selects sperm which when used in assisted reproduction gives significantly improved fertilisation, implantation and foetal development rates compared to the current industry norm.
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Further Details:
https://worldwide.espacenet.com/patent/search/family/071143601/publication/WO2021260011A1?q=PCT%2FEP2021%2F067160
Benefits
For Couples – Compared to the current sperm selection technology (density gradient) neoMimix selects human sperm with:

Lower DNA fragmentation (-7.6 fold)
Higher motility (+1.4 fold)
Better morphology (+2.9 fold)
Higher fertilisation rates (+8%) and implantation rates (+12%) – Mouse model

For Embryologists

Quicker sperm preparation (30 vs >60 min)
Simpler sperm preparation (3 vs ~10 steps)

For Fertility Clinics – Competitive commercial business. Use of new cutting-edge technologies attracts business.
Applications
neoMimix is a Class IIb medical device with a single use, disposal component. A clinical validation study was conducted for Q1 2020 in conjunction with leading Irish fertility clinics who are part of larger European networks. The EU and US total addressable market is approx. €150 million. A robust business plan has been developed. This technology increases embryo development rates.
Simple, fast, fully traceable enhanced process to enable embryologists optimize the potential for a successful pregnancy for couples.
Opportunity
The University of Limerick is seeking partners to exploit the commercial potential of these technologies by entering into licensing agreements.

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