Medicine of the Future in Romania, at the #WelcomeLife event
- Tests and new technologies in the field of reproduction, for the first time in Romania
- Participants: representatives of the academic environment and Romanian medicine, public authorities, professional organizations, doctors and representatives of patient associations
- An impressive testimony from a famous patient
Artificial intelligence, innovative technologies, advanced genetics and holograms came together to create a fascinating journey into the future and build a moment where the real and virtual worlds collided on the same stage at the #WelcomeLife event on October 28, 2022, held at Bucharest by specialists in reproductive medicine from Romania and abroad.
“In these times marked by uncertainty, demographic decline and the changes of conventional families, new revolutionary technologies in the field of reproductive medicine bring a long-awaited hope. Hope for life, hope for the future.” – Dr. Laura Dracea, President of SRFRA, founder and director of the Gynera Fertility Clinic, member of the FutureLife International Medical Board, who initiated and coordinated the #WelcomeLife event.
New technologies in reproductive medicine, which include solutions that use artificial intelligence in reproduction, selection of embryos to prevent cancer or other severe medical conditions in future children, new reproductive programs for infertile couples but also for those who are single or from LGBTQ+ communities, the new test to prevent miscarriages related to the father’s genetic profile, were launched for the first time in Romania, during the #WelcomeLife event, held in the new Gynera Floreasca Park center (Pipera Road 43).
Designed as a journey into the medicine of the future, the event brought together representatives of the academic environment and Romanian medicine (Prof. Dr. Viorel Jinga – rector of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila” Bucharest, Prof. Dr. Radu Vlădăreanu – Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology from Romania), of public authorities (biologist Ioana Adina Rugescu – National Transplant Agency coordinator), representatives of professional organizations (dr Sandra Alexiu – President of AMFB), medical specialists, representatives of patient associations and members of the press, but also international specialists who covered and detailed the latest tests and technologies in reproductive medicine.
Thus, Prof Simon Fishel (UK) – Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board, FutureLife, Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of GenomicPrediction and pioneer in in vitro fertilization worldwide; Nathan Treff – PhD, Co-Founder, CSO and Clinical Laboratory Director at Genomic Prediction and Associate Professor at Rutgers University, USA; Lukas Beranek – FutureLife, a leading European company in the field of reproduction and genetics; Rafael Gonzales Morales – FutureFertility, a company that develops non-invasive tools based on artificial intelligence; Dr. Diana Prepeliță – Cytogenomic Geneticist and Dr. Laura Dracea – assisted reproduction specialist, founder of Gynera Fertility Center, introduced and detailed the most advanced tests, treatments and therapies in reproductive medicine.
The #WelcomeLife event ended with the appearance of a hologram, as if detached from the world of the future, which, after addressing a few words of introduction, materialized on the stage in the person of Valentina Pelinel. In an impressive message, she shared how, as a patient, she needed technology and science and thanked the specialists who supported her, encouraging other women to take this step.
The tests and technologies launched for the first time in Romania at the #WelcomeLife event
Testing of the first male genetic mutation linked to miscarriage – Annexin V – M2
It is the first genetic test that can be done in men to detect the risk of miscarriage. The mutation is transmitted to the embryo and can trigger mechanisms that contribute to miscarriage and other pregnancy complications. The discovery of this mutation is the first evidence that miscarriage can be related to the genetic profile of the spouse (partner).
Testing can be done from patients’ saliva or can be done on embryos obtained during IVF. It is the first time that it will be offered in Romania.
Linea Vita® DNA compatibility test
Linea Vita® is a test recently developed by a laboratory in Bucharest (Cytogenomic Medical Laboratory) and identifies the risk of the two partners in the couple to have children with genetic diseases. Testing is done from saliva, including at home testing, and identifies the risk for 217 genetic diseases, the most common in our geographic area. In the event of an increased risk, there is the possibility to take measures in time, either by testing the embryos obtained through IVF, or by testing during the first weeks of pregnancy, to know if that embryo has inherited the disease. In this way, the birth of children with serious diseases can be prevented.
PGT-P Embryo testing for adult risks
It is a technology developed in the USA and not yet available in Europe, by which embryos obtained in IVF can be tested for the risk of developing serious diseases during later adult life – cancers, mental illnesses, cardiovascular diseases, etc.
Until now, testing could only be done to identify genetic diseases of the embryo, such as Down syndrome. The novelty of this test is that it does not identify a specific disease, the embryo being genetically normal, but calculates a risk score, depending on the presence of certain genetic variants. This risk score identifies embryos at very high risk of developing certain severe diseases later on. Although there are misunderstandings about the method and the ethical implications of this technology, it is important for patients to know that this technology exists, in order to make informed decisions, especially in very high familial risk cases.
Artificial intelligence in reproduction
For the first time in the country, artificial intelligence will be able to be used in various areas of assisted reproduction, especially for the selection of reproductive cells and embryos with highest success chances, but also for making predictions, in the case of using cryopreserved cells.
The technology is based on studying thousands of previous cases and their results. Predictions are made by analyzing the results, applying algorithms, but also the continuous process of machine learning.
The incubator which captures images throughout embryonic development, is able to analyze the data and provide risk scores. The same type of technology can be applied to other reproductive investigations and treatments, with artificial intelligence having the potential to become the new way to approach reproduction very soon.
Solutions for unconventional families
In modern society, much more open to diversity, the need to provide solutions for reproduction either to single people or to those in LGBTQ+ communities has become more and more common. In Romania, this trend is increasing, and unconventional families with single or same-sex parents are no longer a rarity. International partnerships between clinics and specialists make reproductive procedures with oocytes or donated sperm, as well as those with a surrogate mother, possible, without patients having to travel outside the country.
“The fact that specialists and the general public have the chance to gain access to the most advanced technologies and solutions in the field represents an important step in our society.” said Dr. Laura Dracea, Gynera Fertility Center, before starting together the tour of the new Gynera Center (Floreasca Park – Șos Pipera 43), which is to be open soon.
The center brings for the first time in Romania a holistic integrated approach and will offer the full range of services in the field of reproduction from the basic preventive ones, to the most advanced treatments, interdisciplinary consultations and complementary therapies, but also the opportunity to share new techniques and technologies of the Romanian medical community.
On behalf of SRFRA and its partners, Dr. Laura Dracea, Romania and Prof. Simon Fishel, UK are hosting a fascinating journey into the medicine of the future.
Artificial intelligence, virtual models, distinguished local and international participants contribute to an exceptional #WelcomeLife event, dedicated to reproductive specialists, but not only.
Participants have the opportunity to discover novel emerging investigations and technologies, to experience real and virtual surprises, and also to visit the usually restricted areas of the new center for advanced reproductive medicine – IVF Lab and the Embryo Bank.
“Artificial intelligence, advanced genetics, new techniques for fertility preservation and assisted reproduction have dramatically changed the vision and the limits of modern medicine and society”
Dr. Laura Dracea, Romania
“We are still a young medical science, more advances are in the pipeline, with the prospect of even greater success rates”
Prof. Simon Fishel, UK
“AI guided ART….It’s the new normal“
Rafael Gonzales Morales, FutureFertility
FRIDAY, 28 OCTOBER, 14.30
Messages from special guests
Journey into the Medicine of the Future
- Novel concepts in reproductive medicine – Dr. Laura Dracea, Romania
- History and new directions of IVF – Prof. Simon Fishel, UK
- Linea Vita® – a comprehensive compatibility DNA test – Dr. Diana Prepeliță, Cytogenomic
- PGT-P – testing embryos for adult health conditions risks – Nathan Treff, PhD, USA
- Miscarriage caused by the partner? First mutation in men related to miscarriage – Prof. Simon Fishel, UK
- The impact of AI and machine learning in the Healthcare and IVF industry – Rafael Gonzales Morales, FutureFertility
- Solutions for unconventional families – donor & surrogacy programs – Lukas Beranek, FutureLife
Tour of the IVF Lab & Embryo Bank
Dr. Laura Dracea
Novel concepts in
Prof. Simon Fischel
Miscarriage caused by the partner? First mutation in male related to miscarriage
Dr. Diana Prepeliță
a comprehensive compatibility DNA test
Nathan Treff, PhD.
PGT-P – testing embryos for adult health conditions risks
Rafael Gonzales Morales
Impact of AI and machine learning in the Healthcare and IVF industry
Solutions for unconventional families – donor & surrogacy programs
Short biographies and abstracts of presentations
Prof. Simon Fischel, UK
Professor Simon Fishel is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, FutureLife and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of GenomicPrediction (USA). He founded the world first degree course in IVF and the Rachel Foundation. He was also Founder, CEO then President of the CARE Fertility Group – the UK’s largest independent provider of fertility services.
He began his research career at the University of Cambridge with Robert Edwards, who was responsible with Patrick Steptoe for the birth of the world first IVF baby
He was the first to publish on the metabolic responsiveness of embryos to their environment and on the secretion of HCG by the human embryo. His pioneering work in the field of IVF has resulted in many honorary awards from several prestigious organisations in UK and from countries such as Japan, Austria, Italy, South Africa and the US. He has advised several international Government committees reviewing policy and legislation on IVF, including advisors to the Vatican.
Simon is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of CoGEN, Co-Founder and CEO of ProFaM, the world first organisation to offer ovarian tissue cryopreservation for premenopausal hormonal preservation, along with fertility preservation.
“Few healthcare innovations have shaped society and family life and meant so much to individuals than the development of IVF. We are still a young medical science, more advances are in the pipeline, with the prospect of even greater success rates”
Prof. Simon Fishel
History and new directions of IVF
Human IVF is a relatively recent medial discipline. Its introduction to the world just 4 decades ago, amidst professional and social animosity and visceral disapproval, has since made more than 16 million people parents. However, it has brought previously only-dreamed-of technologies into reality at an amazing pace, providing the opportunity for parenthood to even more. Indeed, it is the only medical procedure that, worldwide, has redefined family life! We shall explore its beginnings in embryology and medicine and take a look at what might be the next journey in the story of IVF.
Miscarriage caused by the partner? First mutation in men related to embryonal miscarriage
Miscarriage and Placenta-Mediated Pregnancy Complications (PMPC) affects millions worldwide. Although embryo aneuploidy is the largest single cause of implantation loss, many other reasons for miscarriage and PMPC elude us. The AnnexinV M2 haplotype is an embryonal mutation increasing risk of first trim miscarriage and PMPC and is equally present in both men and women. Hence, it is the first known gene mutation increasing the risk of miscarriage that can be passed from the male.
Dr. Laura Dracea, Romania
Novel concepts in reproductive medicine
Dr Laura Dracea, medical doctor with more than 20 years experience in assisted reproduction, is the Chair of SRFRA, founder and director of Gynera Fertility Center, member of International Medical Board of FutureLife. With an intensive clinical, academic and research activity, she published scientific papers and organised several training and educational programs, for professionals and public.
“Novel concepts in reproductive medicine” presents a summary of new concepts and intelligent technologies that will change the world of reproductive medicine, detailed by other speakers during the event.
Romanian Society for Fertility and Assisted Reproduction (SRFRA)
SRFRA is a professional organisation dedicated to promote reproductive health by dissemination of scientific knowledge, suport of the research and training programs, promotion of standards of practice and education of the population.
Gynera Fertility Center
Gynera is the first clinic specialised in assisted reproduction, with a 15 years history of success stories and pioneering in IVF in Romania.
The expertise and the innovative approach centred on the patients’ experience contributed to exceptional results, followed by the birth of the highest number of IVF babies in the country, more than 3000 until now.
The new Gynera Floreasca Park Center comes with a unique concept of personalised integrative approach and introduces other technologic novelties, based on AI and advanced genetics, original programs and FutureLife partnerships for new reproductive challenges: single patients and LGBTQ+ community members.
Large and friendly premises, connected specialities and complementary therapies or international cooperation for research and professional training are only few of the other novelties offered by the new center, recently opened in Floreasca Park, an oasis of green, peace and miracles through science, in the hart of Bucharest.
Rafael Gonzales Morales, FutureFertility
Current laboratory workflows in IVF laboratories are facing huge challenges exacerbated by the pandemic, a rise in lifestyle-related diseases, and an exploding use of new technologies. The use of AI to create intelligent processes and workflows could make healthcare and IVF in particular more effective, more personalized, and more accesible.
“AI guided ART….It’s the new normal’
Rafael Gonzales Morales, FutureFertility
Future Fertility have developed AI-powered, non-invasive tools that provide fertility experts and with personalized insights to make informed decisions for their patients fertility journey.
Nathan Treff, PhD
Dr. Treff is the cofounder and the CSO and Clinical Laboratory Director of Genomic Prediction, and an Associate Professor at Rutgers University. He has received 7 awards from the ASRM. His research on PGT has been reported on by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Bloomberg, and the Economist, among other media outlets.
PGT-P Testing embryos for adult health conditions risks
PGT for polygenic disease represents the future of reproductive genetics. While there are several misconceptions around validation, utility, and ethics, it is critical that patients are informed and have access to this important technology.
Dr. Diana Prepeliță, Cytogenomic
Linea Vita® – a comprehensive compatibility DNA test
LINEA VITA is a simple and accurate non-invasive DNA test that assesses the possibility that a healthy person may be a carrier of one of the 217 recessive genetic condition at risk of transmitting it to future children.
Cytogenomic Medical Laboratory specializes in state of the art genetic testing. The laboratory offers a full range of specialty services applying the latest technologies. With over 30 years experience and more than 15000 tests per year, Cytogenomic maintains permanent communication and cooperation with doctors and other partners.
“Health is an investment rather than an expense We remain dedicated to making genetic services easily accessible to all We aim to make the benefits of genetic testing more widely known in order to improve the quality of life in the long term” Our vision at Cytogenomic
Lukas Beranek, FutureLife
Solutions for unconventional families – donor & surrogate programs
The changes and tolerance of modern society, together with the current technological opportunities allowed clinics to offer reproductive solutions in less conventional cases, as single patients and LGBTQ+ community members. The reproductive cells and embryo donor programs and the surrogacy programs are available now without the need to travel abroad, supported by partnerships between clinics and specialists.
FutureLife is one of the largest and most dynamic global providers of reproductive medicine and genetics services. Present in 9 countries with different regulations and cultures, the group offers huge collaboration opportunities for treatments at highest standards, education and research.