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EMD Serono Launches Landmark Patient Registry for Egg Freezing
Date:11/7/2008

The HOPE Registry is an observational study undertaken to evaluate the safety and efficacy of oocyte cryopreservation (egg freezing) techniques

ROCKLAND, Mass., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/-- EMD Serono, Inc., an affiliate of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany, announced the launch of the Human Oocyte Preservation Experience (HOPE) Registry surrounding next week's 64th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). The HOPE Registry is the only comprehensive national patient registry in the United States designed to study the safety and efficacy of oocyte cryopreservation procedures, commonly known as egg freezing.

The objective of the HOPE Registry is to track the outcome of oocyte cryopreservation cycles and to validate the efficacy of the different techniques used to freeze and thaw eggs. The HOPE Registry will evaluate the two techniques commonly used in egg freezing, "slow-cooling" and "vitrification," and assess the safety of these procedures by systematically capturing information to determine if the babies born from different egg freezing techniques are healthy. The data collected will be thorough in scope and will include patient demographics as well as specifics on the different laboratory procedures used to freeze, thaw and fertilize each oocyte and produce the transferable embryos. Additionally, pregnancy outcomes will be tracked and evaluated, as well as the health and development of the children following birth and at one year of age.

Although egg freezing remains an experimental procedure, in recent years the number of pregnancies resulting from the fertilization of thawed oocytes has increased. Estimates show that almost 500 children have been born worldwide from these techniques and only four of these children (0.8%) had a genetic abnormality. This success is due, in large part, to a better understanding of the physiology of eggs as well as advancements leading to improved freezing technologies. The HOPE R
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SOURCE EMD Serono, Inc.
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