Virtus, 23Strands and Monash receive funding for IVF study

Monday, 11 December, 2023

Virtus, 23Strands and Monash receive funding for IVF study

Virtus Health, healthtech startup 23Strands and Monash University have received $3m in federal government funding for an IVF study.

The researchers are studying how whole genome sequencing can be used to achieve better patient outcomes with IVF medications. James Pyne, Virtus Health CEO, said, “The impact of this grant has huge potential to benefit all IVF patients and is a significant step forward for IVF research and innovation.

“Having a better understanding of a patient’s genomic sequencing can help clinicians deliver improved fertility insights, treatments and personalised medicine, and ultimately better success rates,” Pyne said.

Lead researcher Professor Beverley Vollenhoven from Monash University said the study has the potential to revolutionise the entire landscape of fertility care.

“The groundbreaking collaboration of integrating genomics, artificial intelligence and clinical care aspires to set a new global standard to positively improve women’s responses to IVF medications,” Vollenhoven said.

By understanding how a woman’s genes can affect how they respond to IVF medications, the study’s end goal is to create an AI-driven tool to deliver better targeted doses and improve IVF success rates.

A recent pilot study by Virtus Health and 23Strands found genetic variations mean every woman has a different response to ovarian stimulation medication.

The MRFF grant will enable the research team to build on these preliminary findings and conduct a four-year randomised control trial (RCT) to help develop a tool for personally targeted dosing of medications.

23Strands co-founder and CEO Mark Grosser said the project will be using new ways to process information about IVF treatments. The company combines data from scientific research, medical records and genetics to deliver tailored personalised medical reports for women.

A/Prof Vinayak Smith, Head of New Ventures at Virtus Health, said with this new study the company aims to offer whole-genome sequencing and AI to augment reproductive decision-making and help people achieve their dream of starting a family.

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