Category Archives: News

I WORKSHOP on Blastocyst Biopsy for Clinical Embryologists

Last week, the I WORKSHOP on Blastocyst Biopsy for Clinical Embryologists at Bioarray facilities was ended.

I WORKSHOP on Blastocyst Biopsy for Clinical Embryologists

This course was taught by our embryologist Miguel A. Fernández Pérez, for embryologists from Spain and some European countries, with the aim of providing autonomy to reproduction clinics for PGS and PGD analysis.

We will keep you updated on the next editions of WORKSHOP

ION World 2017

On October 19 last the event Ion World was held, wich Bioarray was present.

Luis A. Alcaraz, PhD Scientifc and Lab Director spoke about the use of NGS for investigating the causes of reproductive failure with the aim of improving success rates of in vitro fertilisation (IVF).


↓ Find out more about the conference below
Ion World

Bioarray develops a PGD-Seq Kit

The morning news papers La Vanguardía  and the have published an article on the PGD-Seq Kit developed by Bioarray capable of detecting, in a single biopsy, monogenic pathologies and chromosomal errors necessary in the analysis of embryos for IVF.

Kit PGD-Seq

Today this is a great advance in assisted reproduction, Luis A. Alcaraz adds that “we ran the risk of selecting embryos that were not chromosomally normal, that did not lead to implantation or that gave a child affected by Down Syndrome”.

Read more >> PGD-Seq ; La Vanguardía ;

Should men freeze their sperm at 18?

First of all, Dr. Kevin Smith, from Abertay University in Dundee, considers men around 18 should freeze their sperm in order to use it later in life because of the risks of being an “older father”.

Furthermore, sperm loses quality with age, increasing the risk of autism, schizophrenia and other disorders. That’s why Dr. Smith says sperm-banking should “become the norm”.

Rather he added: “it’s time we took seriously the issue of paternal age and its effect on the next generation of children.
If demographic trends towards later fatherhood continue, this will likely lead to more children suffering from genetic disorders”.

Furthermore, according to Dr. Smith, although there was no fixed age on becoming a father, people in their 40s might want to use their frozen sperm banked at the age of 18, time when it would be in the best conditions.

Now, the average age of fatherhood in England and Wales is 33, when in the early 1990s was 31.

The British Fertility Society through his chairman, Professor Adam Balen, expressed that such a move would “provide a very artificial approach to procreation and a false sense of security as the technology does not guarantee a baby”.

Even more, Sheena Lewis, the chair of the British Andrology Society, said: “Men should think about their families much earlier in their lives. We need to get the message across that it’s really a much better idea for men as well as women to have their children in their 20s and 30s”.



Can personalised treatments transform cancer into a chronic condition?

Today a single cure for cancer doesn’t exist, but in the words of Bridie Smith from the Sydney Morning Herald’s, there have been advances in identifying and understanding various subtypes of different forms of this type of disease and in making patient’s treatments more personalised for these diseases.

Dr. Kylie Mason from the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Melbourne University said: “every patient is an individual”, referring to the evidence that every patient responds in a different way than somebody else to the same condition or the same named diagnosis.
“We are not treating a cancer, we are treating a patient”, Dr. Mason added.

Another voice from the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Jayesh Desai, added: “to be able to do molecular and genomic tests allows us to much better understand what makes a patient’s cancer behave in a particular way and that will allow for more tailored treatments”.
He is convinced that determining the causes at a molecular level that lead to cancer will enable more personalized treatments.

While a cure against cancer is not discovered yet, Smith says that with the recent promising work into immunotherapies, this disease could be transformed into a chronic condition.


Related genetic studies 

Sharing the genetic data help us all

David Haussler from the University of California Santa Cruz,
known for his work leading the team who made the first human genome sequencing 15 years ago,
as asked patients to share their genetic data in order to upgrade personalized medicine.

When the human genome was sequenced for the first time,
the genetic analysis was made public and freely accessible to anyone.

Haussler says that sharing this genetic data was a game-changer and made a number of advances possible.
“The era of precision medicine is upon us.”
He added that these genetic analysis are enabling to match patient’s tumor sequences to others to determine the best treatment to follow.

Considering the daily fight against cancer, “the power of this data network will be only as strong as it is vast,” Haussler adds.
“The bigger the pool of samples, the greater the likelihood of finding molecular matches that benefit patients,
as well as patterns that shed new light on how normal cells become malignant.”

Haussler said that patients can ask their doctors to share their genetic data in a safe mode with the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health,
which pursue to enable better sharing of genomic data and establish technical standards for this data.


One in three drugs approved in Europe includes a genetic marker

One third of the total approved drugs in Europe by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) include at least include at least a genetic marker in their data sheet in their data sheet.
When a drug is going to be registered, it is analyzed if having or not a specific gen could increase its certainty and allow identifying in each case when it would be more effective.

In this context, Spain will develop the first database in Spanish and one of the first in Europe that will allow the identification of the genes to be analyzed in each condition.
It will centralize its operations at the AEMPS, the Spanish Agency of Drugs and Medical Devices, according to Adrian Llerena,
vice-president at Spanish Society of Clinical Pharmacology and at Spanish Society of Pharmacogenetics and Pharmacogenomics,
and one of the eight members on the committee of pharmacogenomics of the EMA.

Llerena said it’s important to homogenize the tools of genetic analysis used nowadays, saying that pharmacogenetic tests made by some companies
“are designed based on arbitrary criteria”. At present, Llerena coordinates a European project that chase to combine the implementation of Personalized Medicine,
in order to unify all these tests under the program Horizonte 2020.

The importance of including the genotype of patients in clinical records

During the 12th Congress of the European Association of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Llerena said,
“20% of emergencies at hospitals are produced by adverse effects of drugs, being considered the sixth leading cause of death.
It would be an achievement to reduce that percentage or to reduce some of the causes of death due to genetic analysis”.

According to his words, “drugs save lives, but also make damage. The strategies we have in pharmacovigilance could be supplemented,
from epidemiological level in the sense that it is quantified what happens,
the active strategies supplemented by the inclusion of the genotype of patients in their clinical recordsto make sure the prescriber could take a more informed decision at the time to prescribe a certain drug.
We are not going to prevent all adverse reactions, but we can prevent an important part individually”.

Regarding to the words of Adrian Llerena, The Extremadura Health system has launched a pioneering proposal in Europe that would allow the implementation of personalized medicine in Public Health Systems.
This project called Medea allowsthe doctor to be guided in the prescription through the genetic analysis included in the Health Card with the final purpose of reducing the risks and optimizing their effectiveness.

Do we want to know what’s in our DNA?

The European Journal of Human Genetics has published the results of the world’s largest survey of public attitudes towards genomic data. The advancement of high profile, large scale sequencing projects has created a discussion around the reporting of incidental findings. We refer to the detection of alterations that can be classified as pathological but being in genes that are unrelated to the pathology for which the test is indicated and which have not developed symptoms.

Decipherings Developmental Disorders project from the Wellcome Trust’s Sanger Institute was carrying out the survey with approximately 7000 participants.98% stated they wanted to be informed if a research came across incidental findings.

Dr. Ann Middleton from Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute referred to these results: “the advance of fast, genetic efficient sequencing has transformed medical research over the past decade and it’s set to revolutionise clinical care in the future.” Dr. added: “policy surrounding genetic data in researches must be directed by the views and experiences of the public, patients, clinicians, genetic health professionals and genomic researchers.”

In the case of being at risk for a serious condition, we usually want to know that risk from the very beginning, even if that risk is low. Detecting conditions early can be very important, that’s why patients demand to be informed as soon as possible.

The director of Genetic Alliance Uk, Alastair Kent, also referred to the results of the survey: “When we asked patients how much they want to know about their genetic information, they immediately responded that whatever information the researchers found out, they wanted to know too. He also added that “we need to remember this information belongs to the patient, and we need to make sure there is enough information and support available to allow patients make an informed choice about what is right in every scenario.”

The survey shows another interesting result: genetic healthcare professionals were five times more likely to think that incidental findings should not be shared.

Dr Helen Firth from the Department of Clinical Genetics at Addenbrooke’s hospital explained this fact: Genetic health professionals are aware of the challenges posed by interpreting genetic information accurately and communicate results to patients. There are still many unknowns. Having key indicators for a disease in your genetic code may not necessarily mean that you are going to develop that disease.”

The release of the results is an important step in this discussion. It eliminates the reliance based on assumptions. With genomics everyday closer of a major integration into healthcare, there is a lot to be discussed. Genetic counselors will have an increasingly role to play in the process and will need to be given plenty of consideration in many of these discussions.



Bioarray at “New Developments in IVF Technologies” – Alicante, September 28-30

Bioarray will exhibit at the conference “New Developments in IVF Technologies” that will be held in Alicante (Spain) from September 28th to 30th. This conference which is dedicated to the last technological novelties on In Vitro Fertilization, will especially address the following topics: Genetic Diagnostic, Endometrial Receptivity and Time Lapse.

Bioarray will be presenting the recently launched service of DGP using NGS (Next Generation Sequencing), currently the most advanced technology for human genome study, included in Bioarray’s test portfolio for assisted reproduction and obstetrics.

Conference website: