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Sperm Quality Testing

At-home test available to consumers online in most regions.

Episona announced today that it has expanded online sales of Seed, its at-home test for evaluating male infertility and poor embryo development, to consumers globally, with a few exceptions such as China.  These consumers, like those in the U.S., 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," said Dr. Paul Turek, medical director of The Turek Clinics and a scientific advisor to Episona. "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-gen 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 then provide a semen sample and send it to Episona's CLIA-certified lab in the U.S. for evaluation. Once the sample is processed at the lab, a detailed two-part interactive online report on risk for male factor infertility and poor embryo development 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," said Episona CEO Alan Horsager, Ph.D. "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 is the only epigenetics test on the market to evaluate male factor infertility and embryo quality. The test examines over 480,000 regions on sperm DNA for abnormal methylation at different gene sites important to fertility. A relative risk is then assigned to each abnormal location for either male factor infertility or poor embryo development.  Seed results can help identify issues involving sperm function and embryo development, which are not detected with currently available tests. If a consumer receives positive results for epigenetic abnormalities, complimentary genetic counseling will be provided.

About Episona Inc.

Episona is an epigenetics information company focused on improving reproductive health outcomes. The company's first commercial product, Seed, evaluates epigenetic changes on DNA to predict the risk of male factor fertility and embryo quality.  Epigenetics is the study of the environmental and external modifications to DNA that alter gene expression without changing the DNA sequence. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Pasadena, CA.