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Whole-genome embryo sequencing for improved IVF outcomes


Generating solutions




Genomic Applications Partnership Program

Genome Centre(s)



Project Leader(s)

Fiscal Year Project Launched


Project Description

Around four million people use in vitro fertilization (IVF) every year, but only 34% of IVF cycles succeed. Patients in Canada and the U.S mostly pay out of pocket for this expensive procedure, with the average patient undergoing 2-3 cycles at a total cost of C$40,000-$60,000. At least 85% of the time, the genetics of the embryo itself cause the high rate at which transferred embryos fail to implant or to carry to term. However, patients and clinicians currently do not have the technology to perform comprehensive embryo genetic testing. IVF is the only human genetics area that still uses low-resolution approaches (chromosome counting, genotyping) instead of high-resolution next-generation sequencing (exome or whole genome).

This project aims to develop a comprehensive single-cell whole-genome sequencing-based genetic test for embryos to give IVF patients and clinicians as much certainty as possible that the first embryo they choose to transfer will be successful. Its specific goal is to deliver a scalable biopsy processing workflow for cell handling and sample preparation that delivers optimal sequencing results in a cost-effective manner.

By reducing the financial and mental health burden of IVF, the project will transform IVF – improving outcomes and increasing access for Canadian patients – without changing clinical workflows. The project will accelerate the development of Juniper’s pre-implantation embryo genetic test (PGT), which will replace existing PGT products ($8 billion annual market). To bring this test to market, Juniper has already secured partnerships with 35 IVF clinics. The project’s success will establish Juniper as a world leader in embryo genetics, allowing it to raise additional funds, create new research jobs, and partner with additional IVF clinics.

L to R: Project team members Savana Biondic, Dr. Jeremy Grushcow and Dr. G. Adam Reeves in front of a microscope image of a research-donated embryo