Podcast & Blog


Why do we research? At IVIRMA, it’s in our genes

In the final days of 2019, and as we prepare to usher in a new decade, we at IVIRMA Global are truly fortunate for the work we do, and have done together since we joined forces in 2017. Two truly is better than one, and we are incredibly humbled by the scientific productivity of our global network over the last two years.

What have we become since unifying? Two things primarily – the biggest, most advanced fertility company in the world (that has helped bring more than 200,000 babies into existence over 30 years of combined practice) and the most prolific reproductive medicine research group in the industry.

In other words, we invent so our patients’ biggest dream can come true, no matter their diagnosis.

At IVIRMA, we believe everyone deserves to build a family in whatever shape that family takes. And that belief is backed by a relentless focus on research, discovery, innovation and clinical excellence every single day across our laboratories, research centers and clinics around the world.

That type of dedication – and success – comes only from experience. Before unification, both IVI, Europe’s biggest fertility provider, and RMA, the leading fertility provider in the US, were conducting research on their own, and the effort formed a major pillar of both organizations.

Each of our respective companies has done research since literally the day they were founded – 1990 for IVI and 1999 for RMA; long before research in the fertility private sector was in fashion. We innovate because we are curious, hungry and most of all, because we are human – we have been touched by infertility, and we know how research transforms care – it turns despair into hope, and hope into life.

Simply put, research makes possible the impossible. Not only is it our mission; it is truly our passion.

When IVI, the Valencian Infertility Institute, was founded in 1990, it was the first medical institution in Spain fully dedicated to Assisted Reproduction. In a quarter century, IVI has expanded to more than 60 centers in 10 countries, including in Spain, Portugal, Italy, the United Kingdom, Panama, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and India.

When RMA, Reproductive Medicine Associates, was founded in New Jersey in 1999, it was founded with the mission to invest in fertility research when few other institutions in the U.S. were doing so. Since then, RMA has grown to 10 locations in New Jersey and clinics in Pennsylvania, Florida and California, becoming one of the largest and most successful IVF programs in the U.S., and helping make possible many research and patient care firsts.

In addition to their commitment to excellence in patient care, these two institutions shared a unique commitment to advancing knowledge in reproductive medicine. And so they came together to make an even greater impact in fertility research and patient outcomes.

And yet, an institution’s commitment to scientific research can be difficult to assess. This is especially true in the case of for-profit organizations like IVIRMA Global, which at first glance don’t fit the mold of a research-first group fighting to make vital discoveries in the public interest. But that’s exactly what we are – IVIRMA Global is the single-biggest investor on fertility research in the world, with the single-most number of published research papers in the industry, and the highest percentage of research that translates into direct patient care in this field.

Our unique position as a provider and research hub makes this type of investment possible, and we will never shy away from this mission. With basic science laboratories in four locations around the world, dozens of clinical centers dedicated to research and discovery, and a proprietary central regulatory organization (UAGI) to support investigators within IVIRMA, we are fully invested in this effort.

As with our research, the data speaks for itself: our group has published more than 3,000 research papers over the years (we average more than 30 publications each quarter), the breadth of our research spans 15 areas of investigation (including AI and stem cell rejuvenation), and our trainees are widely recognized at international meetings, earning a combined 55 awards in recent history.

In 2018, we had 128 abstracts presented at the ASRM, ESHRE and SRI meetings – some of the most highly-regarded gatherings in fertility science and science in general – and 141 general publications in scientific journals.

At this year’s ASRM, we had more than 90 IVIRMA doctors from around the world attend the meeting and saw unprecedented success: 68 scientific abstracts were accepted for presentation, and of those, 28 were selected as orals. In addition to several awards at the meeting, IVIRMA Global won the top honor of the event – the prize paper for our work into extended embryo culture and the origins aneuploidy.

It is truly mind-blowing to think how far the field has come in 41 years, when the first IVF baby was born in the UK. Fertility science is one of the most, if not the most, quickly progressing industries in medicine, and patients around the world are benefiting.

It is for those patients that we innovate, that we experiment and that we answer the toughest questions, no matter what it takes. As the top fertility provider around the world, we believe we have a responsibility to lead the industry with research that matters, and makes a difference to hopeful parents. And that’s exactly what we’ll do for the next decade and beyond.

Because every time we help a patient achieve pregnancy, and soon after, a healthy live birth, we get inspired all over again – to tackle science, to answer questions and to dedicate our time to helping create the most precious gifts.

Our commitment is pure and simple – we do this because we care, and we are thankful that we can.

To 2020 – and beyond.

Author: Emre Seli M.D.