The Times of Israel – BGN Technologies, Ben-Gurion University’s technology-transfer company, is developing a single-dose fertility treatment based on a new compound they constructed.
The groundbreaking technology was created by Prof. Esther Priel, director of BGU’s School of Medical Laboratory Sciences, and her research group at BGU’s Faculty of Health Sciences, in consultation with the In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF) Laboratory at the Soroka University Medical Center.
At the tip of a human’s DNA chromosomes there is an area where telomeres reside. They define the lifespan of cells.
As people age and experience degenerative diseases, these telomeres get shorter. A shorter lifespan of the telomeres induces infertility.
Telomerase is the enzyme that is responsible for the maintenance of the telomeres. The new treatment stimulates the expression of the telomerase and re-elongates the telomeres, protecting the cells from damage.
“The treatment assists in cell viability and increases the likelihood of fertilization and embryo generation and implantation,” says Prof. Priel.
The treatment is applied as a single dose,and dissipates within 24 hours.
“We’ve evaluated the efficacy of the new compound in mice and found that a single dose greatly improves fertility in both female and male mice,” says Prof. Priel. “One dose speeds up egg maturation and ovulation, increases the number of ovulated eggs, and results in a larger number of viable offspring.”
Apart from improving fertilization in people suffering from degenerative diseases, the compound also showed to protect the ovaries of mice undergoing radiation.
“This discovery suggests that it might be able to protect and improve the fertility of women and men undergoing radiation therapy for cancer,” explains Prof. Priel.