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December 13, 2023
1 min read

Orchid’s $12M Startup: Revolutionizing IVF with Genetic Testing Service.

  • Startup Orchid Biosciences has launched a service and raised $12 million that allows couples to screen embryos for genetic predispositions to diseases.
  • The service intend to make it possible to detect diseases such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes through in vitro fertilisation (IVF).

Orchid Biosciences, a biotech startup, has developed and rolled out a fresh, innovative service in the field of in vitro fertilization (IVF). This service enables IVF couples to screen for genetic predispositions to diseases including but not restricted to Alzheimer’s and diabetes. This new development raises issues concerning the merits of this kind of testing for common conditions during IVF.

The process of in vitro fertilization includes combining eggs and sperm externally to the body to produce embryos. These embryos can undergo tests for aneuploidy, a condition typified by extra or missing chromosomes. They can also get tested for specific gene mutations which result in monogenic diseases, which are disorders caused by variations in a single gene.

With Orchid’s innovative service, more than 99% of the genomes of these embryos can be sequenced to screen for diseases. This revolutionary method introduces a new layer of testing that could considerably enhance the disease detection rate during IVF. But it also constitutes a subject of debate as the efficacy and implications of such exhaustive testing during IVF is a topic of ongoing discussion.

While the service offers promising benefits, it also raises ethical and scientific questions regarding the depth and range of genetic screening, especially when it comes to testing embryos. Nonetheless, the company has managed to raise $12 million, signifying significant financial support and organizational belief in the potential impact and benefit of their testing service.

As the evolutions in the biotech field continue to develop at a rapid pace, the launch and support for Orchid’s testing service serves as a notable step forward, initiating the integration of deeper genetic screening in IVF and marking another milestone in genetic testing services.

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