Pasadena’s Episona Launches International Sales of Epigenetic Test for Male Infertility

Published : Tuesday, December 19, 2017 | 6:37 PM

Episona Inc., a Pasadena-based company focused on reproductive health, says it is now selling Seed, its home test kit for evaluating male infertility and poor embryo development, to global consumers online.

Consumers worldwide may now order Seed online with the guidance of an independent physician.

“Men contribute to about half the cases of male infertility, and in North America, Europe, and Australia sperm counts have plunged over the past several decades,” Dr. Paul Turek, a scientific advisor to Episona, said. “At the same time, there have been few scientific advances or true technological innovations in the field of male infertility. Seed goes beyond current sperm tests to offer a depth of next-generation information about male infertility and embryo quality that can help consumers make more informed decisions with their money and time while reducing the emotional stress that comes with infertility.”

Seed was launched in the United States a year ago and is now available in more than 40 clinics. To date, more than 1,000 patients have used Seed to help guide their fertility treatment.

International consumers who order the test online will receive a kit in the mail. They would then provide a semen sample and send it to Episona’s CLIA (Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments)-certified lab in the U.S. for evaluation.

Once the sample is processed at the lab, a detailed two-part interactive online report is sent to the consumer and to the ordering physician. These results can help patients make better decisions about advanced treatment, such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF). International customers will have complimentary support from genetic counselors if results are abnormal.

“Episona’s expansion into new markets comes at a time when consumers want more actionable information about their health and easier access to health care,” Episona CEO Alan Horsager said. “We look forward to building on our growth in the U.S. and to bringing Seed to more consumers internationally in the coming months.”

Seed’s novel approach is based on the science of epigenetics, which examines external or environmental factors such as aging, smoking, obesity, environmental exposure, and even exercise which can cause changes to the layer on top of the DNA known as the epigenome. These modifications alter how genes are expressed, or read, which in turn can impact how they function.

Seed results can help identify issues involving sperm function and embryo development, which are not detected by currently available tests. If a consumer receives positive results for epigenetic abnormalities, complimentary genetic counseling will be provided.

Seed is Episona’s first commercial product. The company was founded in 2013.





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