Thank you for visiting our stand at ESHRE 2018, it was great to see you. For those of you who didn’t attend, and those who did, here’s a recap of all of the exciting things that took place in Barcelona.

Our first ever ESHRE sponsored symposium proved a hit with hundreds of delegates in attendance, eager to hear more about the latest research available in reproductive genetics and mosaicism.

Tony Gordon PhD, Vice President of Business Development at CooperGenomics gave the first talk on issues faced in reproductive genomics, addressing the challenges we face, citing the introduction of new technologies as a double-edged sword.  More data is available, but we need to understand its clinical impact and how we translate those results to information that clinicians and patients can understand.

Santiago Munné PhD, co-founder of numerous genetic businesses including Reprogenetics and Recombine, presented a future-looking talk discussing where reproductive genetic technologies are going.  This included non-invasive PGT-A, a new aneuploidy screening method that analyzes DNA in spent media rather than a biopsied sample.

This technique would avoid the challenges of biopsying, opening this type of technology up to a much wider audience.

A podcast of the event will be made available soon.

Expert Speakers

Our ESHRE 2018 Speaker Schedule was packed as ever, featuring a fantastic line-up of speakers at our stand.  Delegates had the opportunity to discover new insights from experts within their respective fields of IVF and genetics.

Notably, Sue Montgomery PhD, pictured above, presented the UK CARE group’s findings when using our GM-CSF enriched culture media, EmbryoGen® and BlastGen™, for recurrent miscarriage patients. During the past 18 months, they have seen good clinical pregnancy rates and importantly very low levels of miscarriages, with their miscarriage rate down to just 5%.

David Chrimes PhD, Director of Business Development at CooperGenomics, introduced delegates to mosaicism, a phenomenon in which both euploid and aneuploid cells are present within a single embryo, and how to manage patient expectations around mosaic results. As new terminology arises and new techniques emerge, it is important that clinics have the tools and capacity to explain results to patients and to ensure their results are truly understood.

Lodovico Parmegiani PhD, Laboratory Director at GynePro Medical Center in Bologna, gave a practical vitrification demonstration, explaining the process of dehydrating cells and loading the VitriFit™ carrier before plunging them into liquid nitrogen. Dr Parmegiani joined us again on Tuesday to show delegates how to select sperm for ICSI using our hyaluronic acid products, PICSI® dish and SpermSlow™, and their unique benefits.

Films of all our ESHRE 2018 stand speakers and demonstrations will be available on our YouTube channel shortly.

Biopsy Masterclasses

Our Clinical Embryologist, Colleen Lynch MSc, ran biopsy masterclasses on Monday and Tuesday where delegates were able to watch blastocyst biopsy demonstrations. To introduce the sessions, Sally Lloyd from Sales Support performed the technique with live commentary from Colleen.

While demonstrating with mouse embryos on an Integra 3™ micromanipulator, Colleen explained how to draw biopsied cells into the pipette and then how to separate the biopsied material using a laser and mechanical methods, minimizing the risk of damage to the embryo or biopsied cells.  It was stressed that poorly performed biopsies can lead to cell lysis, which will give a low-quality genetic result and produce a trophectoderm sample that is sticky and difficult to handle, wash and tube.

The flick method was also demonstrated, where, after creating a weak point in the cell using the Saturn 5 Active™ laser, the biopsied sample is mechanically released from the biopsy pipette.

Meet the Experts

Colleen Lynch gave numerous one-to-one blastocyst biopsy coaching sessions on Monday and Tuesday during the show, giving delegates the chance to learn or to refine their skills, ask questions, and discuss any problems they were having with the technique.

Colleen was also able to advise on introducing genomics into clinical practice – reminding people that biopsy is just one part of the process and that the relevant infrastructure is needed within clinics to deal with genetic testing as a treatment.

Delegates also met with Dr Munné and Dr Gordon on Tuesday afternoon for one-to-one chats about reproductive genetics following our sponsored symposium.

Distributor Training

During our time in Barcelona, we gave refresher training to 120 of our distributors who work hard to ensure you get the best advice, information, products and services that your clinic and staff members need.  LifeGlobal products were introduced as part of the agenda, as well as a Distributor Awards Dinner, which celebrated and awarded three outstanding companies for their commitment.

ESHRE 2018 Distributor of the Year Award winners:

  • Novatec Healthcare, Thailand
  • Life Science Chemilab, Greece
  • Laboratorio Hermani, Peru

Celebrating IVF is 40

Professor Charles Kingsland addressed over 1,000 delegates at our Pacha Beach Party, introducing a very special guest – Louise Brown, the world’s first IVF baby.  To help us celebrate her birthday later this month and the 40th anniversary of IVF, Louise cut a cake after saying a few words:

“The real pioneers of IVF were Robert Edwards, Partick Steptoe, my Mum, Lesley and my Dad, John. I just happened to come along and be healthy.  It is the people here, embryologists, scientists and gynecologists who have kept developing IVF to what it is today with millions of children born worldwide.

“You bring hope to so many people with fertility problems. Keep up the fantastic work.  Your work is worth celebrating!”