OvaScience, (NASDAQ: OVAS), a life sciences company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of new treatments for infertility, and Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: XON), a leader in synthetic biology, today announced an agreement to access Intrexon’s portfolio of technologies to accelerate the development of OvaScience’s OvaTure ℠ technology platform. Separately, the companies established a Joint Venture, called OvaXon, to combine their unique technology platforms to create new applications for improving human and animal health.
“We are accelerating the development for OvaTure by applying Intrexon’s industrialized synthetic biology platform to enhance our process for the maturation of egg precursor cells (EggPCs) into high quality eggs,” said Michelle Dipp, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of OvaScience. “This is a major step toward our goal of bringing new treatments to women seeking further options for infertility. At the same time, the joint venture with Intrexon will allow us to broaden the potential of our EggPC ℠ platform to develop therapeutics for the prevention of inherited diseases in future generations.”
OvaTure ℠ is OvaScience’s next-generation approach to in vitro fertilization (IVF) using a woman’s own EggPCs, which are immature egg cells found in the outer edge of the ovaries. OvaScience uses proprietary methods to identify, isolate and mature EggPCs into high quality eggs for in vitro fertilization without the need for hormone injections. Importantly, OvaTure may provide a new treatment option for women with compromised eggs, or who may be unwilling or unable to undergo hormone hyperstimulation, such as women diagnosed with cancer who seek to preserve their future fertility.
Through the Exclusive Channel Collaboration (ECC) between the companies, Intrexon will use its proprietary Cell Systems Informatics, UltraVector ®, RheoSwitch ®, AttSite ®, and LEAP™ technologies, to develop methodologies to enable the accelerated and scalable development of OvaTure. In addition and as part of the Joint Venture, the combination of OvaScience’s EggPC platform with Intrexon’s genome engineering capabilities offers an innovative approach to the prevention of inherited diseases in humans, such as mitochondrial and other genetic disorders.Samuel Broder, M.D., Senior Vice President of Intrexon’s Health Sector and former Director of the National Cancer Institute, underscored the potential for this collaboration.