Merck KGaA debuts new fertility tech division
- EMD Serono, the U.S. biopharma unit of the German Merck KGaA, has launched a fertility technologies division, announcing its creation Monday at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) Scientific Congress and Expo.
- Merck KGaA partnered with Genea Biomedx in May 2015, securing global rights to Genea's portfolio of fertility products. The new division was launched in conjunction with Gidget, a hand-held "witnessing" system designed to help embryologists at in-vitro fertilization (IVF) laboratories.
- Also at ASRM, EMD Serono launched its Compassionate Corps program, a patient assistance program to provide fertility medications for eligible U.S. veterans who are infertile due to a service-related injury. The company will provide select IVF stimulation medications at no charge for up to two IVF cycles per year.
The assisted reproduction technology (ART) market is a large one, according to Grand View Research, which forecasts the sector's value increasing to nearly $30 billion by 2022. Growth is driven by a rising prevalence of infertility, from a range of causes including increased pollution and lifestyle factors.
EMD Serono has been productive in ART for the past two decades. The Merck KGaA unit has three fertility drugs on the market: two injectable Gonal‑F (follitropin alfa) products, Cetrotide (cetrorelix acetate) and Ovidrel PreFilled Syringe (choriogonadotropin alfa).
The new fertility division will expand on this portfolio and on three benchtop fertility technologies known as Gems, Gavi and Geri. EMD Serono gained access to this tech through its 2015 acquisition of the Australian fertility company Genea Biomedx.
Genea and EMD Serono, along with Illumina, also launched the Global Fertility Alliance last year, aiming to improve consistency in ART.
EMD Serono also has a presence in neurology, immunology, metabolic endocrinology and oncology.
- EMD Serono Statement
Follow Suzanne Elvidge on Twitter