The Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation (VIPC) today announced that PS-Fertility, Inc. has been awarded a Commonwealth Commercialization Fund (CCF) grant for $75,000. VIPC’s CCF programs have distributed more than $53 million to Virginia-based startups, entrepreneurs, and university-based inventors since 2012 in support of critical early technology testing and market validation efforts. PS Fertility has also previously received funding from VIPC’s Virginia Venture Partners.
Each year in the U.S. alone, approximately 7 million couples seek fertility care. Roughly 50% of infertility is due to the male, yet historically the reasons why are largely a mystery and the diagnostic and treatment burdens have fallen disproportionately on the female. PS Fertility, a clinical diagnostic company spun out of the University of Virginia, is changing the way male fertility testing is conducted with their novel discovery that quantifies the levels of fertilization-competent sperm. Equipped with this information, healthcare providers can better advise couples of the likelihood of fertilization and help guide treatment options.
“Our patent-pending technology takes fertility testing to a new level beyond just sperm counting and motility measurement. We can assess the ability of a sperm to fertilize an egg, allowing us to uncover meaningful information about male infertility that’s not currently available through conventional testing. This helps provide couples with insight into their personal fertility journey and improve their ability to conceive,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lysiak, Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder of PS Fertility. “CCF grant funding is giving us the opportunity to bring our goal of increasing the number of babies born one step closer to reality. We are grateful for VIPC’s partnership.”
With CCF support, PS Fertility will complete the transfer of the technology from UVA to the Charlottesville-based company’s commercial lab. Funding will also enable the startup to finalize the at-home collection test kit and begin offering the solution to patients.
“The CCF program has long been about fostering innovative and collaborative efforts in the Commonwealth,” said Jeanette Townsend, VIPC’s Director for Private Sector Grants. “Through VIPC’s grant to PS Fertility, we are not only supporting the commercialization activities of a Virginia startup, but also game-changing technology research and development coming out of the University of Virginia. We could not be more excited to be a part of PS Fertility’s story as they transform fertility testing and shift the industry’s 60-year status quo.”