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New egg freezing technique

18 August 2003
By BioNews
Appeared in BioNews 221

ViaCell, a biotechnology company based in Boston, US, has announced that it is developing a procedure to enable women to freeze their eggs for later use. The procedure is ready to begin clinical trials and ViaCell says it would like to be able to offer the service within 18 months. The company has already contracted with Boston IVF fertility centre to begin trials with patients there using eggs from volunteers, the number of which have already exceeded expectations. Other clinics will be added to the trial at a later date.

The technique involves injecting a sugar called trehalose into the eggs before they are frozen. This helps to prevent crystals forming in the eggs (which have a high water content), as they freeze. Marc Beer, chief executive officer of ViaCell, believes the technique could be used to store eggs for 15 years or more.

Commenting on the new procedure, Beer said that it is the 'most robust' egg freezing technique trialled to date. He believes that it will be of use for women undergoing cancer or other treatment that could affect their fertility, women who wish to delay having children and women who donate their eggs for use by infertile couples.

A hope to freeze, bank eggs of women
The Boston Globe |  13 August 2003
Boston Co. Working on Way to Freeze Eggs
Yahoo Daily News |  13 August 2003
Boston firm eyes ways to freeze human eggs
Reuters |  13 August 2003
31 May 2005 - by BioNews 
Scientists from the University of Michigan, US, have developed a new egg freezing technique that may improve the chances of women who want to have children following treatment for cancer. Treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy can render a woman infertile, so researchers have been looking at ways to preserve...
16 September 2004 - by BioNews 
Italian researchers say that they have achieved 13 births using eggs that had been frozen and thawed before being fertilised and implanted into a woman. According to the researchers, who publish their findings in the September edition of the journal Fertility and Sterility, the study indicates that the promise of...
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