The Global Fertility Services market size is expected to reach $36 billion with a CAGR of 8.5% by 2023, according to a recent report by Market Research Future (MRFR) highlighted in Forbes. With that being the case, over the last handful of years, we are seeing growing investor interest and a growing number of startups being funded in the fertility marketplace, which is still severely underserved due to prohibitive treatment costs, reasonable access to care & as couples are waiting to have children later in life. Currently, it is believed that only 1% to 2% of the estimated 150 million infertile couples worldwide are being treated. In addition, some of the emerging companies are already evolving into the public markets as we saw in the highly successful Fall 2019 IPO of Progyny, Inc. (NASDAQ: PGNY), the specialty fertility insurance benefits company which IPO at $13/share and has risen to as high as $36.50/share. Other notable startups & emerging companies. i.e. Glow and Ava (mobile & tracking apps), Modern Fertility and Adia (diagnostics) & Kindbody, a company focused on offering a full range of fertility services, are continuing to gain ground in the marketplace and garner attention.
As a result of this backdrop, INVO Bioscience, Inc. (“INVO”), an emerging medical device company focused on creating alternative treatments for patients diagnosed with infertility and developers of INVOcell®, an FDA-cleared INVOcell technology provides an in-vivo incubation solution which can help increase access and capacity to the large underserved global fertility market, is another player emerging in the fertility space. The INVO Procedure is a revolutionary in vivo method of vaginal incubation that offers patients a more natural and intimate experience. INVO’s lead product, the INVOcell, is a patented medical device used in infertility treatment and is considered an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). The INVOcell is the first Intravaginal Culture (IVC) system in the world used for the natural in vivo incubation of eggs and sperm during fertilization and early embryo development, as an alternative to traditional In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
Today, INVO Bioscience announced that its board of directors has approved a change in the Company’s trading symbol from “IVOB” to “INVO.” The change in the trading symbol commenced at the market open today, March 16, 2020. All market-related information on the OTC Markets will be reported under the new symbol effective March 16, 2020. The CUSIP number for the Company’s common stock will remain unchanged.
“With the growing awareness and usage of our INVOcell device, we believe it made strategic sense to align our public market trading symbol with our corporate name and our innovative fertility solution to improve the consistency of our branding along with our overall recognition within the investment community. The progress we are making with market development, awareness and commercialization of INVOcell drove our decision to make the symbol change. We remain excited with INVOcell’s position in the marketplace along with the key underlying long-term trends within the overall Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) market. We continue to spend our focused efforts on evaluating additional partners to enter other key market areas around the world and look forward to continuing to update the shareholders on our progress as we move forward,” stated Steve Shum, CEO of INVO Biosciences.
The Company also highlighted the following recent developments and progress made toward advancing the adoption of its INVOcell technology:
- U.S. clinic locations trained to offer INVOcell have nearly tripled since our agreement with Ferring International Center, S.A. (“Ferring”). Each clinic location will vary in terms of implementation time and growth. Ferring has established a website, www.invocell.com, which provides information for patients and health care professionals, in addition to providing a tool to search for clinic locations that offer INVOcell.
- INVO Signed a joint venture agreement in January 2020 with Medesole Healthcare and Trading Pvt Ltd to operate dedicated INVOcell fertility clinics in India. The joint venture has set an initial objective of opening three INVOcell clinics over the initial 12 months, with additional clinics planned in subsequent years.
- INVO received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval in February 2020 to commence a planned clinical trial to evaluate the modified INVOcell system for the effectiveness of achieving fertilization, implantation, embryo development, clinical pregnancy, and live birth after 5-days of continuous vaginal incubation.
- INVO signed initial distribution agreements covering Nigeria, Turkey, Jordan, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Sudan in late 2019.
- INVO attained receipt of a CE Mark for the INVOcell culture and retention device in October 2019, a key requirement to commercially distribute through the European Union.
- INVO made two strong additions to our internal team in Q1 2020, including the appointment of Inger Britt Carlsson, Ph.D., as the Company’s Vice President of Medical Affairs who recently was the Global Director of Medical Affairs for Cooper Surgical Fertility and Genomics and Yve Lyppens as Director Business Development Asia Pacific. INVO expects to make a few more prudent additions this year in order to support the increased activities.
- American Institute of Reproductive Medicine, an early adopter of INVOcell located in Birmingham, Alabama, has become one of the higher volume locations offering INVOcell and a great case study. The clinic offers the INVOcell procedure at a very attractive price point compared to IVF, produces excellent results, continues to see very high-quality embryos, has been able to increase patient capacity at their location, and has patients traveling to their site from around the country. “We have now performed more than 500 cycles with INVOcell. We have found this technology can be uniformly applied to virtually anyone who needs IVF at about one third the cost. In the two years, we have offered this service, we have had patients travel to our program in Birmingham, Alabama from 27 states across the country with success rates comparable to traditional IVF. I believe INVOcell is the future of IVF,” according to Dr. Karen R. Hammond, DNP, CRNP, IVF Program Director for America Institute of Reproductive Medicine.
To learn more about INVO Bioscience (IVOB) and to track its progress daily, please visit the Vista Partners INVO Bioscience Dedicated Research Page by clicking here.