Merck Welcomes ZEISS and Hamilton Thorne as New Members of the Global Fertility Alliance

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New partners are joining founding members Merck, Illumina and Genea to support standardization of processes in assisted reproductive treatment laboratories
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Global Fertility Alliance Logo

On June 30, 2016 - Merck announced together with Illumina Inc., San Diego, US, and Genea Limited, Sydney, Australia, that the Global Fertility Alliance welcomed two new members. The alliance is a collaboration to advance excellence in fertility technologies and processes within the assisted reproductive treatment (ART) laboratory.

Effective immediately, ZEISS, Oberkochen, Germany, an internationally leading technology enterprise operating in the optics and optoelectronics industries, and Hamilton Thorne Ltd., Beverly, Massachusetts, US, a leading provider of precision laser devices and advanced image analysis systems for ART, regenerative medicine and developmental biology research markets, are joining the alliance and its quest to improve the consistency in ART laboratories worldwide. Following the announcement of the alliance’s formation at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE), an update on the alliance’s activities will be presented at this year’s ESHRE in Helsinki, Finland (3-6 July, 2016).

“Through our work with the fertility community, we know that ART outcomes strongly depend on routines and technologies applied in laboratories. As such, we are committed to overcoming current variation in ART practices and techniques,” explained Rehan Verjee, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Merck’s biopharma business. “We are working in the alliance to support the development of global standards in ART laboratories. We understand this as a critical factor for ensuring a consistently high level of performance across centers and countries, ultimately supporting the goal of women and couples of having a baby.”

Seeing the importance of recognizing innovation in ART technologies, the Global Fertility Alliance was founded by Merck together with two strategic partners: Illumina, a leader in developing and commercializing systems for analysis of genetic variation and function, and Genea, a developer of innovative fertility technologies. The collaboration is part of Merck’s Fertility Technologies strategy to partner with experts in the field to address unmet needs together and support the market with innovations, with a clear focus on extending its product portfolio for the benefit of the fertility community.

“ZEISS has a strong heritage in the development of specialized microscopes and we are committed to using our expertise in this field to drive the standardization of ART processes and techniques further,” commented Peter Kraemer, Director Market Segment Education & Routine at ZEISS Microscopy Business Group. “We are impressed by the alliance’s progress so far and look forward to contributing to improvements in ART practices through technology innovation.”

“As a pioneer in the field of developing instruments for the in vitro fertilization clinic, advancing the science of fertility treatment is in the DNA of our company,” said David Wolf, CEO of Hamilton Thorne. “With excellence in ART as its tenet, the goal of the Global Fertility Alliance is to drive automation and standardization in fertility laboratories worldwide to promote better outcomes for patients.”

The collaboration partners are aiming to welcome further members which share the common objectives and complement the expertise of the existing partner companies.

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