Business Editors/Health/Medical Writers
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 2, 2004
New egg-preservation service safeguards chances of having children
later in life; Expands options for women including
cancer patients and professional women
The professional and personal opportunities for women have exploded over the past 30 years, encouraging many women to postpone motherhood. Unfortunately, the biology of female eggs hasn't kept pace and women often face challenges starting their families later in life. For example, studies show that 86 percent of professional women that are childless at ages 41-55 did not intend to be childless. In fact, more than a quarter of these women over 40 said they would still like to have children(1).
Extend Fertility(TM) is pleased to announce the availability of a new service designed to help women safeguard their younger, healthier eggs for the time when they are ready to start their families. The service effectively slows the biological clock and increases the chances of having a genetically-linked child after 40. Having the option to proactively plan for future motherhood is expected to appeal to a broad range of women - from cancer patients facing chemotherapy and women facing family histories of pre-mature ovarian failure, to single, professional women and couples starting their families later in life.
"For the first time, women have the option to take proactive measures to protect their future fertility," said Christy Jones, founder and CEO, Extend Fertility. "It is our mission to help these women address the ever-growing disconnect between the readiness to have children and the biological limitations of aging eggs."
Eggs are the keys to female fertility. The average woman's fertility and egg quality peak around the age of 27 and begin to decline in her 30s. While a woman is physically able to carry a pregnancy to term well into her forties, the quality of the eggs produced by a woman's ovaries begins to significantly decline starting around the age of 35. A 40 year old woman has less than a 10 percent chance of having a successful pregnancy using her own eggs, compared to approximately 30 percent at her natural peak fertility(2). Older eggs also run a much higher risk - about 10 times higher -- of chromosomal defects which can lead to conditions, such as Down's syndrome, in children.
As a result, women often spend an average of more than $50,000 on infertility treatments or as much as $50,000 to secure donor eggs in order to have children(3). The Extend technology leverages recent advancements in oocyte cryopreservation science and enables women who have previously frozen their eggs to improve their pregnancy rate to between 20 and 30 percent, and use their own eggs for that pregnancy.
"This is a truly groundbreaking approach to fertility treatments for women - for many years, men have been able to bank their sperm for future use and now women will have access to a similar opportunity," said Dr. Barry Behr, chief scientific advisor, Extend Fertility, and assistant professor, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Director, IVF/ART and Andrology Laboratories, Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Behr also serves as the consulting laboratory director at Huntington Reproductive Center. "The process employed by Extend has the most successful track record to date and is best positioned to safely and effectively meet the needs of a broad range of women."
Extend Fertility partners with local medical providers to offer a nationwide network where women can go to have their eggs harvested and preserved. The company is forming strategic relationships with industry leaders to provide women with the best available science, medical service, storage technology and education.
-- Science - Extend Fertility's rights to the most advanced and
proven science in the world enables the best opportunity for
successful fertility preservation. Published results
associated with Extend Fertility's science show a 20 - 30%
pregnancy rate per patient and hundreds of babies born from
frozen eggs in the last few years. That success rate is on par
with a woman's natural peak fertility rate in her mid- 20s.
Extend also recognizes the importance of continuing research
and development. The company has sought out experts in the
field of women's reproductive health and is committed to
advancing fertility preservation options.
-- Service - Extend Fertility is committed to providing a
consistent quality of service across its network of medical
providers. The Extend technique will be delivered through a
carefully selected, certified and trained network of the most
capable fertility specialists in the world.
-- Storage - Extend Fertility ensures the safety and security of
each woman's eggs through agreements with the leading
cryopreservation facilities in the country. Extend will work
with these facilities to manage the unique handling of frozen
eggs and offer stringent quality controls, enhanced security,
fault-tolerant storage, controlled access and monitoring, and
client bar-coding system.
-- Education - In addition to the personalized counseling and
education provided to potential clients, the company also
develops programs designed to educate women about female
fertility and the options available to protect fertility for
Extend Fertility will begin servicing women at Extend affiliated clinics in California, including Huntington Reproductive Center, this month and expects to begin servicing women at clinics in the Northeast and South by the end of 2004.
For more information on the Extend Fertility service, please visit www.extendfertility.com or call (800) 841-7197.
1. "High Achieving Women 2001" -- National Parenting Association
2. 2000 ART Success Rates -- Center for Disease Control
3. "Business of Making Babies" -- Professor Debora Spar, Harvard Business School
ABOUT EXTEND FERTILITY
Extend Fertility is dedicated to enriching women's lives through revolutionary science and unparalleled service that gives women the option to effectively slow down the biological clock. The company brings together industry-leading science, medical care and storage facilities. By combining these critical elements with our outstanding educational resources and client services, Extend Fertility offers women the leading fertility preservation experience available today. For more information, visit ww.extendfertility.com.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Business Wire
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group