Ferring Research Infertility and Gynaecology GrAnt (FRIGGA) 2008 Winners Announced

Jul 07, 2008, 01:00 ET from Ferring Pharmaceuticals

    BARCELONA, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The winners of the Ferring Research
 Infertility and Gynaecology GrAnt (FRIGGA) are announced today at the
 European Society for Human Reproduction & Embryology Congress. The two
 winners of this new prize are the University Medical Centre Utrecht, The
 Netherlands and the Universitair Ziekenhuis (UZ) Brussel, Centre for
 Reproductive Medicine,Belgium.
     The winning research institutions were selected for their outstanding
 proposals for fundamental research to help gain an increased understanding
 of the role of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in assisted
     "We received a high standard of entries with seven considered in the
 final judging stage. The judging panel found that the two winning proposals
 were both innovative and feasible and could help deepen our understanding
 of an important factor in successful fertility treatment," comments
 Professor Paul Devroey, Chairman of the FRIGGA judging panel and Professor
 of Reproductive Medicine at the Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Brussels
 Free University, Belgium.
     The grant is named after Frigga, the goddess of fertility, motherhood,
 love, family and home from Scandinavian mythology. FRIGGA is a biennial,
 global grant for fundamental fertility and gynaecology research that was
 launched by Ferring in January 2008. It received global interest, with 53
 entries from 22 countries across the globe. The entries were reviewed
 anonymously by an independent judging panel composed of experts from around
 the world. The winning research must be completed and presented by 2010.
     "We at Ferring are strongly committed to this area of medicine which we
 believe benefits not just those who wish to become parents, but society as
 a whole. The Ferring Research Infertility and Gynaecology Grant - The
 FRIGGA Award - underlines our continuing commitment to take the lead in
 ART," says Dr. Pascal Danglas, Executive Vice President, Clinical R&D and
 Product Development, Ferring Pharmaceuticals.
     Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Ziekenhuis University, Brussel,
     Research title: Among ICSI patients who undergo antagonist protocols
 with recombinant FSH, what is the influence on the gene expression profile
 of the endometrium when recombinant FSH is replaced by 200 IU of hCG in the
 late follicular phase?
     Dr Christophe Blockeel, the principal applicant awarded the prize of
 50,000 Euros, is a Fellow in Reproductive Medicine and Clinical Tutor at
 the Centre for Reproductive Medicine, UZ Brussels, Belgium. Since its
 creation in 1983, the Centre for Reproductive Medicine has played a
 pioneering role in the development and enhancement of reproductive
 techniques. For decades the Centre has been a major player on the
 international scene in its discipline.
     "We are very excited and proud to win this award. Research is exciting
 but to win such an award brings even greater motivation to continue our
 work. Appreciation from our team and staff is so important but to get
 appreciation from a company like Ferring is really something." Dr
 Christophe Blockeel.
     University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands.
     Research title: Assessment of oocyte quality by embryo aneuploidy rates
 and cumulus cell gene expression: effect of late follicular phase hCG
     Dr Esther Baart, principal applicant of the second winning institution
 also awarded 50,000 Euros is a Clinical Embryologist and researcher in the
 Department of Reproduction and Gynaecology, University Medical Centre
 Utrecht (UMC Utrecht). UMC Utrecht is one of the largest public healthcare
 institutions in The Netherlands and is renowned for the quantity and
 quality of their international scientific publications. This high position
 can be attributed to a number of both clinical and pre-clinical research
 groups and national and international collaboration is an important
 positive factor in this.
     "Receiving the award gives an enormous boost for our research. We feel
 looking at gene expression in cumulus cells will help understand the
 mechanism behind different ovarian stimulation protocols and how they
 influence oocyte quality. It is an honour for the value of our research to
 be recognised." Dr Esther Baart.
     Infertility is generally defined as the inability to conceive naturally
 after one year of trying to become pregnant by unprotected intercourse.
 Infertility does not mean sterility, but it does signify a reduction in the
 chances of conceiving a child spontaneously. According to the World Health
 Organisation, between 60 and 80 million couples in the world are
 Infertile(1), and one in six couples have to seek help to conceive(2). The
 problem is found to lie with the male in nearly half of cases, although
 many attribute the rise of infertility to women opting to postpone
 motherhood until later in life, which often results in age-related
     About Ferring Pharmaceuticals
     Ferring Pharmaceuticals is a research-driven, specialty
 biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company identifies,
 develops and markets innovative products in the areas of fertility,
 obstetrics, urology, gastroenterology and endocrinology. Ferring's
 fertility portfolio of treatments gives infertile couples the chance to
 have babies and includes its flagship brand MENOPUR(R), a recognised high
 quality treatment for infertility. Ferring has operating subsidiaries in
 over 50 countries. To learn more about Ferring or our products please visit
--------------------------------- (1) http://www.who.int/en/ (2) Hull, MG et al. Population study of causes, treatment, and outcome of infertility. British Medical Journal. 1985 Dec 14;291(6510):1693-7

SOURCE Ferring Pharmaceuticals