At the Vitrolife Capital Markets Day on 21 November, the company provided an update of the market trends and strategy together with a presentation of the new genomics partnership with Illumina. Furthermore, the history and future of IVF was presented.
The Capital Markets Day was held at the company's premises in Göteborg with approximately 45 participants. The CEO Thomas Axelsson presented the financial and operational performance during the year and the trends that can be seen in the market including clinic consolidation and increased demand for technologies such as time-lapse, cryopreservation and preimplantation genetic testing. The CEO concluded that while the overall strategy to market high-quality products towards the IVF clinics around the world remain unchanged, the company will going forward focus even further on products and services that allow shorter time to pregnancy for the patients, for example decision support tools. The CEO presented the future growth drivers for each business unit and the ambition to strengthen the market position in the three largest markets in the world; China, Japan and the US.
The head of new business and strategic development, Fredrik Mattsson, presented the genomics partnership with Illumina. Beginning in early 2019, Vitrolife will be the exclusive distributor in EMEA and North and South America of Illumina's kit for preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) and Illumina's kit for preimplantation genetic testing for single gene disorders. Fredrik Mattsson explained that a higher percentage of embryos with an abnormal chromosomal copy can be seen for older patients and that PGT-A is more likely to offer benefits for this patient group. Furthermore, future trends in genomics, including non-invasive PGT, advantages from combining time-lapse and PGT and the use of Artificial Intelligence algorithms to interpret sequencing data got presented.
The Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) Mark Larman presented the history and possible future developments within IVF. The CSO highlighted the growth of the field in the last 40 years. When the first IVF-child was born in 1978, IVF was a controversial treatment, but this has changed over time and currently it is estimated that about 8 million children have been born in the world through IVF and assisted reproduction techniques. The CSO projected that the future development of IVF will focus on single embryo transfer and shortening the time to pregnancy, for example through improved consumables, objective embryo assessment, increased genetic testing, and increased cryopreservation.