Earlier this week TMRW Life Sciences (TMRW) announced that it has launched the world’s first automated cryo specimen management solution for embryos and eggs used in in vitro fertilization (IVF). TMRW’s proprietary platform has been installed in multiple premier fertility clinics in the U.S., launching the modern era of integrated, software-enabled management of the millions of eggs and embryos central to modern IVF.
The TMRW platform arrives at a critical moment: during the COVID pandemic, with record numbers of patients initiating egg freezing, and some U.S. fertility clinics reporting as much as 50% increases in cycle volume over the same period last year. Clinics accounting for more than 30% of all U.S. IVF cycles are scheduled to install the TMRW platform in 2021.
The CDC estimates that by 2025, 22 million fertility patients globally will require egg and embryo storage. TMRW’s platform offers a groundbreaking answer to a challenge the global IVF community is now facing: how to safely manage, track and store hundreds of millions of frozen eggs and embryos.
Until today, the IVF community worldwide has employed the same manual storage methods developed over 40 years ago. This system is characterized by the handwritten labeling of specimens and a reliance on analog tracking and record keeping. In addition, there has been no cloud-based, electronic monitoring, or sensor technology deployed to safeguard the containers holding the eggs and embryos which must be kept consistently at cryogenic temperatures.
“No one undertaking IVF should ever have to worry about the safety of their embryos and eggs,” said Joshua Abram, Founder and Co-CEO of TMRW. “300 million babies are expected to be born via IVF globally by 2100. With TMRW we have brought the safe storage and management of life’s most precious cells into the 21st Century.”
Each TMRW platform safeguards the fertility specimens of as many as 4,000 patients. The system brings an unprecedented level of safety to every phase of the management of eggs and embryos, from accurate identification and chain of custody of every patient’s samples via radio frequency identification (RFID) tracking, to continuous monitoring through TMRW’s data-encrypted and HIPAA-compliant software. Taken together, TMRW’s solution provides patients and clinicians alike transparency and peace of mind about the care of their eggs and embryos.
Vios Fertility Institute is the first fertility clinic to bring TMRW’s platform online.
“As we see a substantial increase in patients seeking IVF and egg freezing — up 41% percent and 31.5%, respectively, over last year — I am thrilled that we are the first fertility clinic in the world to offer TMRW to its patients,” said Dr. Angie Beltsos, CEO & Chief Medical Officer of Vios. “IVF patients and those wanting to preserve their fertility deserve the most sophisticated care available, and there is nothing more powerful than combining our top-notch embryology services with TMRW’s game-changing technology. TMRW gives doctors, embryologists, and patients great reassurance.”
Chicago couple Mayrav Dolgin and Renee Genova have received fertility treatments at Vios resulting in two healthy sons — Jonah (age 2) and Elan (age 6 months). They are the first patients to have their remaining frozen embryos stored with the TMRW platform.
“The fertility journey can be difficult enough without having to worry about the safety of your embryos,” explained Dolgin. “Mayrav and I were ecstatic to learn that ours would be the first to be stored in TMRW,” added Genova. “Knowing that our remaining embryos will be cared for and looked after with the most advanced technology available gives us tremendous reassurance that our ability to continue building our family in the future is protected.”
The TMRW platform key proprietary features include:
- A 24/7 state-of-the-art, cloud-based monitoring system that makes thousands of wellness checks on stored samples every day. TMRW’s onsite and remote communication system uses predictive analytics to proactively identify and address any safety or storage trends before they become issues
- Each patient is assigned an RFID tag with a unique identifier, enabling clinics to identify and track every fertility cell, dramatically reducing the possibility of mislabeled or missing samples
- An encrypted, HIPAA-compliant software system, providing the highest level of data privacy and security available
- Proprietary labware with thermal properties and proven storage freezer provides the ability to maintain safe cryogenic temperatures to safeguard eggs and embryos even without electrical power or human intervention for more than two weeks, in case of severe emergencies such as natural disasters
TMRW is expanding globally and will be in UK-based fertility clinics in the summer of 2021.