Durham genomics startup may hold key to better in vitro fertilization

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Durham-based BioSkryb Genomics, a developer of advanced molecular tools for single-cell analysis, has signed a multi-year agreement with Cooper Genomics to license BioSkryb’s proprietary genomic amplification technology.

Cooper Genomics, specializing in genetic testing for women’s reproductive health, will use BioSkryb technology to enhance its genetic testing of embryos prior to implantation in women seeking to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF).

The exclusive agreement will also permit Cooper Genomics to market and distribute the BioSkryb technology for the preimplantation genetic testing and women’s reproductive health market globally.

“The partnership with Cooper Genomics will bring more precise and complete understanding of the genome, further supporting the accurate determination of viable embryonic use,” said Jay West, Ph.D., chief executive officer and co-founder of BioSkryb.

The company’s ResolveDNA product was designed to address the challenges of current bulk DNA sequencing and single-cell analysis, such as uniform coverage of the genome, breadth of genomic coverage, and the specificity of the resolution required for accurate identification of gene variants. These challenges can hinder confidence in the analysis of preimplantation genetic testing, West said.


Infertility affects about 15% of couples, an estimated 48.5 million couples worldwide. Often couples turn to in vitro fertilization (IVF) to get pregnant.

Preimplantation genetic testing aims to identify embryos with the correct number and makeup of chromosomes so those embryos can be implanted into a woman’s uterus one at a time.

“Screening IVF embryos for chromosomal and other genetic abnormalities before transfer has been shown to increase the likelihood of achieving a successful pregnancy, including increasing implantation rates, reducing miscarriage rates, increasing live birth rates, and enabling single embryo transfers,” said Charles Smith, Ph.D., executive vice president of life science services and innovation at Cooper Genomics. “Having access to the BioSkryb technology will provide a new level of genomic analysis and testing accuracy, enhancing the positive impact we have in the field of women’s reproductive health and in the lives of patients around the world.”

BioSkryb’s ResolveDNA incorporates proprietary Primary Template-directed Amplification (PTA) technology. PTA allows uniform amplification of more than 95% of the genomes of single cells across multiple clinical and research applications – even in low-input samples – with market-leading precision and sensitivity, according to BioSkryb.

This approach is used for single-cell genomics across many disciplines including oncology, neurology, cell and gene therapy, cardiovascular, microbiome and reproductive health.