I’m researching into a diagnostic test for male infertility. You may know, that one in six couples are infertile during the childbearing years, so it is a very big problem. And up until now, we have had very protests to actually diagnose male infertility, because most of the focus has been on the woman. And we have developed a second-generation DNA test, so that we can diagnose the problem that men have, and also we can predict how successfully will be the infertility treatment.
I’ve been working in the area of infertility for about twenty years, and we’ve been working particularly in the area of DNA and the damage, that can be done to DNA by all the lifestyle factors on the whaling we live our lives in the western world. And it is really just over the last four years, that we’ve been able to translate the research, that we did in the lab, to something, which already is beneficial for society. We focused on men, because they are having so little done there, many people have studied women. Childbearing was always at a women’s issue, but actually 40% of the problems with infertile couples are dependent on the man. And still it’s an area, where very little has been done, and we saw the opportunity, and we have made very substantial inroads into solving the problem.
We’re going to be able to help couples to find out what the problem is faster. And then we’re going to be able to direct them to the best treatment. It will be a bespoke treatment; it will be tailored to that particular needs. And, of course, this will save them time. Time is so important. As the woman gets older, her chances of having a baby are less. So, if we can speed up the time from the diagnosis to treatment, that will be great for them. It will cost less money, and it will save some of the awful heartaches, that these couples have in having failed treatment and never having the family that they want so much.
When we had developed the tests, and the papers were published, one was published in “Fertility and Sterility” (which is the top journal in America), another one in “Human Reproduction” (which is a top journal in the UK), roister’s picked up the results. And then I found a lot of couples were emailing me and asking me, if they could have the tests. At that stage we haven’t actually thought about commercializing the test, but when we realized that this was an opportunity and effective responsibility to translate our benchwork to society. And we went to Cubus in Queens and asked them, if they would help us to set up a spin-out company. And they were very supportive, very helpful and we managed to do that within a year.
So now our company is up and running, we are working with fertility clinics and with the doctors involved there.