OvaScience Inc (NASDAQ:OVAS), a global fertility company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of new treatment options, announced today the first published analysis of real-world patient experience comparing the AUGMENTSM fertility treatment to standard in vitro fertilization (IVF). In the same woman within the same IVF cycle, AUGMENT-treated eggs had statistically significant higher rates of embryo selection and transfer based on standard embryo quality measures, which resulted in statistically significant higher rates of pregnancy, compared to standard IVF.
The report, published today in the peer-reviewed, Journal of Fertilization: In Vitro– IVF-Worldwide Reproductive Medicine, Genetic & Stem Cell Biology, includes a previously described subset of 25 patients at Fakih IVF in theUnited Arab Emirates (UAE) whose eggs were prospectively allocated to two treatment groups – one that received the AUGMENT treatment and the other that received standard IVF only. The publication also includes the combined experience of more than 90 patients from Fakih IVF and TCART Fertility Partners in Canada that showed substantial improvements in pregnancy rates with the AUGMENT treatment compared to the patients’ prior IVF histories. The publication is available at http://www.ovascience.com/technology/publications. A presentation describing the findings is available on the Investors page at www.ovascience.com. The AUGMENT treatment is designed to improve egg health and is not available in the United States.
“This first publication of AUGMENT experience from different IVF clinics shows that AUGMENT treatment resulted in higher ongoing clinical pregnancy rates and healthy births when compared to standard IVF,” said Robert F. Casper, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), Medical Director of TCART Fertility Partners. “In addition, the new analysis by Fakih IVF demonstrated statistically significant higher rates of embryo selection and transfer with the AUGMENT treatment. This provides further evidence that the AUGMENT treatment has the potential to improve egg health and embryo quality, and may offer a new treatment option to improve IVF success.”
The eggs retrieved from a group of 25 patients at Fakih IVF were prospectively allocated into two treatment groups: one group received the AUGMENT treatment and the other group received standard IVF with ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection). All 25 patients met the inclusion criteria for the retrospective analysis that required embryo transfer be limited to only one treatment group, as including embryos from both treatment groups would prevent an accurate assessment of treatment benefit. Embryos that were transferred were selected from the one treatment group that had the highest quality embryo(s) for transfer. Accordingly, in patients where more than one embryo was transferred, embryos were only selected from the one treatment group that included overall highest quality embryos. Embryos were selected based on standard morphogenetic analysis, which is composed of two measures. The first is an objective analysis to identify genetic disorders (e.g., cystic fibrosis) and chromosomal abnormalities (e.g., aneuploidy). This is called preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) or preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). The second is an analysis of morphology performed by the embryologist. There is a standard grading system used to evaluate the embryos.
Following the PGD/PGS assessment, there were 9 patients for whom no embryos met the criteria for transfer. The majority of embryos were chosen based on PGD/PGS, an objective measure of embryo quality. The remaining embryos underwent morphological assessment. The morphogenetic analysis resulted in 14 embryo transfers from the AUGMENT group and 2 from the IVF-only group, which was statistically significant and suggestive of improved embryo quality with the AUGMENT treatment.
Ongoing clinical pregnancy rates in these women, who previously had a 0 percent live birth rate, were higher in the AUGMENT treatment group, with 8 women out of 14 with embryo transfers resulting in ongoing clinical pregnancies that are expected to result in live births (and include the births of two sets of twins). There were 0 women with ongoing clinical pregnancies out of 2 with embryo transfers in the IVF-only group. In the intent-to-treat (ITT) analysis of all 25 patients, there was a statistically significant improvement in pregnancy rates with the AUGMENT treatment compared to the IVF-only group. (See Figure 1, pg. 5 of publication)
“Evaluating the AUGMENT treatment in the same woman during the same IVF cycle eliminates many variables and provides clinically meaningful insight into the positive impact the treatment can have for patients,” said Michael Fakih, M.D., Co-Founder and Medical Director of Fakih IVF. “As IVF success typically decreases with increasing cycle number and increasing maternal age, we were pleased to see with the AUGMENT treatment that ongoing clinical pregnancy rates per embryo transfer were similar to the success rates of young, donor eggs. This was particularly encouraging given that these results were observed in patients who had poor embryo quality and prior IVF failures.”
The publication also included a summary of patients treated at TCART (n=34) and Fakih IVF (n=59), demonstrating improvements in pregnancy rates above the patients’ historic IVF success rates. Prior to the AUGMENT treatment, patients collectively underwent 328 IVF cycles, and had a 2 and 1.4 percent live birth rate per IVF cycle initiated inCanada and the UAE, respectively. After the AUGMENT treatment, there was an 11- and 18-fold increase in ongoing clinical pregnancy rate per initiated cycle in the UAE and Canada, respectively, which includes the births of six babies. Patient experience in the publication is inclusive of all patients up to a certain point in time.“As with the introduction of other new fertility technologies, we anticipated that IVF clinics would gain experience using the AUGMENT treatment by taking various approaches to demonstrate benefit,” said Michelle Dipp, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of OvaScience. “We are pleased that the approaches used to date have shown marked and significant improvement with the AUGMENT treatment compared to standard IVF. We believe that egg allocation offers a more controlled approach in a real-world setting. We look forward to additional patient experiences and publications that demonstrate the benefits of the AUGMENT treatment.”
IVF is the standard treatment for infertility, yet it fails the majority of the time. Poor egg health is a major cause of IVF failure, and data has demonstrated that the decline in egg health is largely due to a reduction in energy production. The AUGMENT treatment is designed to improve egg health by supplementing the energy in mature eggs during IVF. (Original Source)
Shares of OvaScience Inc opened today at $19.66 and are currently trading down at $19.1465. OVAS has a 1-year high of $55.69 and a 1-year low of $11.80. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $26.70 and its 200-day moving average is $33.45.
On the ratings front, OvaScience has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on August 11, Wedbush analyst Zarak Khurshid maintained a Buy rating on OVAS, with a price target of $46, which represents a potential upside of 134.0% from where the stock is currently trading. Separately, on July 7, Oppenheimer’s Rohit Vanjani reiterated a Buy rating on the stock and has a price target of $60.
According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Zarak Khurshid and Rohit Vanjani have a total average return of -3.3% and 30.6% respectively. Khurshid has a success rate of 52.0% and is ranked #3056 out of 3730 analysts, while Vanjani has a success rate of 68.2% and is ranked #16.
The street is mostly Bullish on OVAS stock. Out of 5 analysts who cover the stock, 5 suggest a Buy rating . The 12-month average price target assigned to the stock is $70.50, which represents a potential upside of 258.6% from where the stock is currently trading.
OvaScience Inc is a life science company engaged in discovery, development, and commercialization of new fertility treatments. Its patented technology is based on egg precursor cells found in the outer layer of a woman’s own ovaries.