“The global gold standard”: Aussie startup Presagen launches its AI fertility app in the UK and Europe

IVF Life Whisperer Presage

Co-founders Dr Jonathan Hall, Dr Michelle Perugini and Dr Don Perugini. Source: Matt Loxton.

An Australian company that uses artificial intelligence to increase the chance of pregnancy through IVF has launched its software application in the UK and Europe.

Life Whisperer, the fertility arm of AI healthcare company Presagen, commercialised its flagship product in Australia in late January and released it through a distributor into India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh last month.

Approvals are also being sought to sell the South Australian-developed software tool in Japan, Southeast Asia and the US, where it has conducted a number of clinical trials.

Last week’s launch into the UK and Europe is a major step in the three-and-a-half-year journey for the product, which was forced into a COVID-19 hiatus from March to May when many of the world’s fertility clinics closed their doors.

Adelaide-based Presagen currently has 15 staff and small offices in San Francisco and London to drive the global expansion.

Overseas trials underway

Presagen co-founder and chief executive Dr Michelle Perugini said the company had strong connections in the UK and Europe and a number of clinics were already trialling the product in the region.

She said getting clinics on board as commercial customers was the next stage.

“Regulatory approval in the UK and Europe represents a significant opportunity for Life Whisperer to expand its global presence, and we are very much looking forward to working with clinics and patients across the region, supported from our London offices,” she said.

“It’s a secure web-based application that is completely scalable so we can set up new clinics within minutes anywhere in the world.”

The Embryo Viability Application for IVF clinics uses artificial intelligence to analyse images of embryos to assist clinicians to identify which embryo will likely lead to a pregnancy.

By selecting the best embryo, Life Whisperer aims to shorten the time to pregnancy and improve outcomes for couples undergoing IVF treatment.

An international study recently published in the journal Human Reproduction involved blind evaluation of 1600 IVF embryos.

Better outcomes than manual methods

Life Whisperer was shown to perform 25% better than traditional manual methods of embryo assessment by highly experienced embryologists.

The technology was showcased on Tuesday night last week (Australian time) at the 36th Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, which is being held online this year.

Internationally renowned fertility expert Matthew (Tex) VerMilyea from Ovation Fertility (US) will present Life Whisperer’s latest advances in AI for IVF at the event where Presagen will also have a virtual exhibition booth.

Dr Perugini said Presagen was planning a significant capital raise this year to drive growth.

She said the company was looking forward to working with IVF clinics across the globe to offer Life Whisperer to patients at a low cost, meaning more couples could gain more certainty in embryo selection and achieve success sooner, with fewer IVF cycles.

“Life Whisperer is poised to become the global gold standard embryo pre-screening tool in IVF, supporting the clinical decision about which embryo is most viable.”

This article was first published by The Lead.

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