Germany's Merck KGaA signed a licensing agreement with Menlo Park, CA-based Auxogyn to sell its fertility-enhancing diagnostic test in Europe and Canada with an option to extend the agreement to other countries.
The noninvasive test, called Eeva, uses time-lapse imaging and software to identify embryos with the highest implantation potential, thus improving the odds of successful in vitro fertilization, Auxogyn said.
Under the deal, Auxogyn retains commercialization rights in the U.S., where it has conducted several clinical trials. Auxogyn's test received a CE mark in 2012, and the FDA is currently reviewing its application for U.S. clearance. The company didn't disclose financial details.
Merck KGaA's corporate venture fund, MS Ventures, participated in Auxogyn's A and B funding rounds to bring the test to market. The Series B funding netted $18 million and was led by the independent corporate venture capital arm of GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK), indicating widespread interest in the product.
"With this licensing agreement, Merck's established commercial expertise will accelerate the availability of the Eeva Test in key international markets, and Auxogyn's innovative test will continue to provide in vitro fertilization clinicians with valuable information that may improve patient outcomes," Auxogyn CEO Lissa Goldenstein said in a statement. "Most importantly, working together increases our collective ability to enhance outcomes and the chances of having a baby."
An in vitro fertilization clinic in Vancouver, Canada, became the first in North America to offer the product commercially, the company announced in January.
- read the statement