New York Infertility Treatment Center Receives DHEA Patent in Reducing Embryo Abnormalities1
December 20, 2011 (New York, NY) – New York’s Center for Human Reproduction (CHR) is pleased to announce that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has approved a patent application for infertility treatment, serial number 8,067,400, titled “Androgen Treatments in Females.”
The claims of this allowed application – the second received based on CHR’s research of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in women with infertility – are directed to methods of decreasing aneuploidy rates (chromosomal abnormalities) in human embryos, decreasing time to pregnancy and increasing pregnancy rates by administering an androgen for at least two months.
In layman’s terms, this means that DHEA has been recognized (in this second patent issued to CHR) as an infertility treatment to increase pregnancy rates, reduce time to conception and reduce chromosomal abnormalities in embryos. DHEA is thus the first agent ever recognized to reduce chromosomal abnormalities in human embryos. Since approximately 85% of all human miscarriages are believed to be due to chromosomal abnormalities, DHEA can also be assumed to reduce miscarriage rates.
CHR investigators have already observed reductions in miscarriage risk after DHEA supplementation [Gleicher et al., Miscarriage rates after dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) supplementation in women with diminished ovarian reserve: a case control study. Reprod Biol Endocrinol 2009;7:108].
“This second patent awarded to CHR only confirms the increasing importance of DHEA supplementation in female infertility, which we had the opportunity to observe through our research for over seven years,” notes Norbert Gleicher, MD, CHR’s Founder and Medical Director as well as one of the inventors listed on the DHEA patents. He further points out that “acceptance of the claim that DHEA reduces chromosomal abnormalities in embryos offers exciting new opportunities because this observation suggests that DHEA supplementation may benefit not just women with infertility.”
Picking up on this thought, David H. Barad, MD – CHR’s Director of Clinical IVF and a second inventor listed on the patents – notes that “chromosomal abnormalities in embryos increase as women age. Therefore miscarriage rates rise in parallel. DHEA supplementation may, therefore, also be useful in older women with normal fertility who are trying to conceive on their own.” He adds that “the prenatal multivitamins of the future may also contain a little bit of DHEA.”
Center for Human Reproduction (http://www.centerforhumanreprod.com) is a leading infertility center in New York City with worldwide clientele, well-recognized for its major clinical research program. The program has contributed a number of essential breakthroughs to the IVF process. Dr. Gleicher is available for further comments.