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Press releases

The Incredible Egg

State of the A.R.T
Madrid, June 29th, 2003

World renowned infertility clinicians and scientists gather to debate the newest research into the complexities of human eggs (oocytes) which form the basis of the human embryo

Scientists have long established that the quality of human eggs, or oocytes and embryos used in infertility can have a major impact on the chances of a successful pregnancy. Indeed the better the embryos, the higher likelihood of a healthy fetus.

But vital questions such as what is needed to improve the quality of oocytes have yet been unanswered and need to be discussed.

International infertility experts will convene at a congress today to preview the newest scientific findings to help find answers to these questions.

The invitation only State of the Art* meeting precedes the renowned ESHRE conference and will follow a 'think-tank' atmosphere in which delegates and speakers can debate, exchange views and ideas.

Infertile couples who are unable to become pregnant after first line therapy such as ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination, or reproductive surgery seek the next logical step which is Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)*. Indeed it is in these circumstances that egg quality and quantity become relevant.

These ART treatments include In Vitro Fertilization and other assisted laboratory techniques designed to improve fertilization. Compared to simpler treatments, ART procedures typically have very high success rates but are more complex as they involve well-coordinated effort between the medical team, drug treatment, laboratory staff and the patient.
Treatment options include assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF and ICSI, ovulation induction to enhance the production of eggs, surgery to repair reproductive organs and intrauterine insemination to increase the chances for egg fertilization by the sperm.

It is here that increased knowledge of oocytes in relevant as infertility experts say that not all oocytes are created equally and that there are news ways to predict the reproductive potential of the egg.

Professor Johan Smitz, Centre for Reproductive Medicine of the Free University,  Brussels, Belgium will discuss an old, yet unresolved important issue in reproductive medicine: the requirement for LH (luetinizing hormone) during follicle stimulation to promote developmentally competent oocytes.

His initial analysis of the pregnancy outcome of IVF as well as ICSI cycles in a recently accomplished large, randomised, controlled trial suggest a relationship between LH activity and ongoing pregnancy rate in IVF cycles but not in ICSI cycles.

While debate continues, experts remain positive about treatment.

"The statistics show that while infertility is a serious medical condition, it can be effectively treated," said Dr. Søren Ziebe, conference chairman and head of the laboratory at the Fertility Clinic at the University Hospital of Copenhagen, Denmark. "Meetings such as State of the Art help shape and influence treatment strategies so that we can make the best results possible for our patients."

"State of the Art" is sponsored, through an unrestricted educational grant, by Ferring Pharmaceuticals, a global leader in developing treatments for infertility. Ferring's product MENOPUR, licensed for use in Europe for the treatment of infertility as the only product containing both luteinizing hormone activity as well as follicle stimulating hormone.

Ferring is a research driven, speciality biopharmaceutical group active in global markets.  The company identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of endocrinology, gastroenterology, gynecology, infertility and urology.

In recent years Ferring has expanded beyond its traditional European base and now has operating subsidiaries in over 40 countries.

To learn more about Ferring or our products please visit us at:

Media contacts:  
Sharmi Albrechtsen
Tel.: +45 28 78 7209

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