Hamilton Thorne Joins Global Fertility Alliance for Excellence in Assisted Reproductive Treatment

Global Fertility Alliance Aims to Advance Excellence in Fertility Technologies and Processes Within the Assisted Reproductive Treatment Laboratory

BEVERLY, MA and TORONTO, Ontario – June 30, 2016 – Hamilton Thorne Ltd. (TSX-V: HTL), a leading provider of precision laser devices and advanced image analysis systems for the assisted reproduction, regenerative medicine and developmental biology research markets, today announced that it and Zeiss have joined founding members Illumina, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and Genea as new members of the Global Fertility Alliance, a collaboration to advance excellence in fertility technologies and processes within the human assisted reproduction treatment (ART) laboratory.

“As a pioneer in the field of developing instruments for the in vitro fertilization clinic, advancing the science of fertility treatment is in the DNA of our company,” said David Wolf, CEO of Hamilton Thorne. “With excellence in ART as its tenet, the goal of the Global Fertility Alliance is to drive automation and standardization in fertility labs worldwide to promote better outcomes for patients.”

About Hamilton Thorne Ltd. (www.hamiltonthorne.com)

Hamilton Thorne designs, manufactures and distributes precision laser devices and advanced imaging systems that reduce cost, increase productivity, improve results and enable breakthroughs in assisted reproductive technologies (ART) and developmental biology research markets. Hamilton Thorne’s laser products attach to standard inverted microscopes and operate as robotic micro-surgeons, enabling a wide array of scientific applications and IVF procedures. Its imaging systems improve outcomes in human IVF clinics and animal breeding facilities and provide high-end toxicology analyses. Hamilton Thorne’s growing worldwide customer base consists of pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology companies, fertility clinics, university research centers, animal breeding companies, and other commercial and academic research establishments, including Harvard, MIT, Yale, McGill, Oxford, Cambridge, the Smithsonian Institution, Charles River Labs, Covance, ABS Global, Sexing Technologies, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, and Dow Chemical.

About the Global Fertility Alliance

Recognizing the importance of innovation in ART technologies, the alliance aims to enhance progress and innovation in three ways. Firstly, the founding members aim to foster integration of multiple, leading fertility technologies. Secondly, building on this, the alliance will aim to collaborate with leading health care professionals and medical societies to develop global standards. And finally, as technologies in the fertility space are rapidly advancing, the alliance will also develop educational resources for health care professionals worldwide. These efforts will include training curricula and workshops as well as access to model labs, symposia and events at medical meetings. The Global Fertility Alliance was launched at the 31st Annual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) in June 2015.

Neither the Toronto Venture Exchange, nor its regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the exchange), accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Certain information in this press release may contain forward-looking statements. This information is based on current expectations that are subject to significant risks and uncertainties that are difficult to predict. Actual results might differ materially from results suggested in any forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements unless and until required by securities laws applicable to the Company. Additional information identifying risks and uncertainties is contained in filings by the Company with the Canadian securities regulators, which filings are available at www.sedar.com.

For more information, please contact:

David Wolf, President & CEO
Hamilton Thorne Ltd

Michael Bruns, CFO
Hamilton Thorne Ltd.

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Customer Profile: Ronald Naumann

At the Transgenic Core Facility (TCF) of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology in Dresden, Germany, Group Leader Ronald Naumann is surrounded by rodents—knock-out mice that is.

Naumann’s job is to produce transgenic mice created with an altered DNA structure for research purposes. He uses Hamilton Thorne’s XYClone to help him perform laser assisted embryonic stem cell (ES) injection and the IVOS to measure the viability of previously frozen sperm.

Naumann started using the XYClone in 2007 after reading about the effectiveness of using laser assisted injection at the eight-cell stage instead of the conventional blastocyst injection methods being used at the time.

The article published in Nature Biotechnology used the XYClone to conduct comparisons between the two procedures, and the experiments “resulted in dramatically higher ES cell contribution than the blastocyst injections” (Poueymirou et al. 2007).

Following the discovery of CRISPR for gene editing in 2013, there has been concern about the usefulness of laser assisted ES-cell injection.

However, Naumann believes that there is still a valid need for the ES-cell injection technique and his lab generates 15 to 20 mouse lines a year using this process.

“The CRISPR technique works well in generating mice with point mutations or full Knock-Out by deletion,” Naumann says. “But scientists are working much more efficiently in researching gene functions using conditional Knock-out systems,” he continued.

“Conditional Knock-out is more interesting because it allows the gene and its product to be floxed (sleeping) in one tissue type or organ, for example the brain, but the protein would still be present in other organs.  With CRISPR, it is not yet possible to achieve this result. A conditional DNA construct is simply too large for an integration into the mouse genome by CRISPR.”

When producing these mutant mice, scientists follow an ethical code of conduct known as the Three R’s: replace the use of animals, reduce the number of animals used and refine the way experiments are conducted.

As a person who loves his profession and the animals he works with, Naumann believes “responsibility” should be added as an additional “R”. He expresses that using the XYClone assists him with refining his techniques of ES-cell injections which helps him responsibly decrease the number of mice sacrificed.

Naumann uses the IVOS for measurement protocols of frozen sperm.  He states, “Because ‘sperm freezing’ is one of our backup technologies, the IVOS plays a big role in our lab. A standard sperm project is closed with two protocols: One is a fresh sperm measurement and the second is a controlled sample of thawed sperm.”

Aware that his customers expect these parameters to be followed, Naumann performs an analysis with the IVOS to guarantee the sperm’s revitalization. In his experience with Hamilton Thorne over the years, Naumann feels the systems are easy to use and provide stability. “I like the RED-i function and the advantage that the laser is integrated into the objective,” he says.

He has also helped set up multiple transgenic facilities and in each lab he recommends use of the XYClone and the IVOS depending on the lab’s service portfolio. Naumann believes prospective customers should know about the efficiency and cost reduction provided by our systems.

He concludes by saying, “HT products provide a good method to make the reduction of animals real and supports the 3R’s guidelines in technical development.”

If you would like us to profile one of your customers, please contact Natasha Sudiaman at nsudiaman@hamiltonthorne.com.

References: Poeymirou WT et. al. F0 generation mice fully derived from gene-targeted embryonic stem cells allowing immediate phenotypic analyses. Nature Publishing Group. 2007 Jan; 25(1): 91-99. Open Article Access.

Zhang J et al. Conditional gene manipulation: Creating a new biological era. J. Zhejiang Univ-Sci B (Biomed & Biotechnol). 2012 Feb; 13(7): 511-524.

Download a copy of Ronald Naumann’s full customer profile here.

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CEO David Wolf Featured in BioTuesday.com Interview


Hamilton Thorne to accelerate acquisition program

Hamilton Thorne (TSX-V:HTL), a leading provider of precision laser devices and advanced imaging systems, plans to accelerate its acquisition program, mainly in the human clinical in-vitro fertilization (IVF) market, as part of a long-term growth strategy that also includes product innovation and organic growth.

“Our goal is to expand our product portfolio and capabilities with acquisitions of complementary products and businesses in order to provide a full range of instruments, consumables and services in IVF labs,” president and CEO, David Wolf, says in an interview with BioTuesdays.com.

“We are in active discussions on the acquisition front and have identified over 120 companies that fit into our strategy, of which 50-to-60 are in the Americas and northern and western Europe, and are realistic targets for 2016,” he adds.


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Dr. Liow – LYKOS Laser Testimonial

Dr. Liow, Scientific Director of Virtus Fertility Centre Singapore, was recently interviewed about his experiences with the Hamilton Thorne LYKOS laser.

Virtus Fertility Centre is a brand new IVF center just opened in December 2014 and is a member of Virtus Health Australia, the largest IVF provider in Australia.

To learn more about Dr. Liow and Virtus Fertility Centre, please visit their website.

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CARD-RPCI Cryopreservation Course Report

Hamilton Thorne recently participated in CARD-­RPCI Mouse Sperm and Embryo Cryopreservation Workshop at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo NY. Hamilton Thorne provided a XYRCOS laser system and a CEROS II sperm analyzer for the participants to use during the workshop. Click below link to read the ISTT blog post.

CARD-RPCI Cryopreservation Course Report.

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ASRM / IFFS 2013 – Video Poster Presentations

Hamilton Thorne CASA and laser products were featured in many of the poster and oral presentations at the America Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) 2013 annual meeting, held in Boston from October 13 through 16.

We thank Lani Burkman, Ph.D., and Rachana George, M.D. for taking the time to help us record videos of their poster presentations so we could share it with others.

Dr. Burkman’s poster, “Consistent Predictor of Pregnancy (PREG) and sperm fertilizing potential: Advanced Semen Analysis (ASA) and Hyperactivation (HA) using Clear CASA for local or remote patients,” outlines how computer assisted sperm analysis can be used to predict the fertilizing potential of the man.

Download PDF of the Burkman Poster

Dr. George’s poster, Defining the fertile man with Clear CASA: Capacitation (CAP) and  Hyperactivation (HA), helped in determining the definition of a hyperactivated sperm using the kinematics measurements determined by CASA.

Download PDF of  the George Poster

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Synchronicity: The XYClone Laser Helps Researchers Study Cardiac Injury and Repair

In a study published July 17, 2013 in the International Journal of Cardiology on line, researchers found that “laser-targeted injury of the zebrafish embryonic heart is a novel and reproducible model of cardiac injury and repair suitable for pharmacological and molecular studies.”

The scientific team, led by Dr. Martin Denvir, College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, UK, undertook this study to learn more about how the embryonic zebrafish heart responds to injury as compared to the adult zebrafish heart, which demonstrates a remarkable capacity for regeneration.

At the “heart” of this study was the XYClone infrared laser with RED-i target. The researchers produced targeted and highly localized injury to the embryonic heart by synchronizing the XYClone laser pulse with the cardiac cycle. By using custom software, they were able to apply the laser pulse only at a specific user-designated phase of the cardiac cycle, which allowed targeting of just the embryonic heart ventricle.

Zebrafish embryos 72 hpf (lower panel)were used for all experiments of laser injury. The laser pulse was delivered to the area of the ventricle indicated by the red dot (Panel A) and resulted in a clear burn-mark at the point of injury (Panel B), see also supplementary movie 1 (V – ventricle, BA – bulbus arteriosus, At – atrium). Position of the embryo is marked by compass lines (c-caudal, cr-cranial, d-dorsal, v-ventral)

Zebrafish embryos 72 hpf (lower panel)were used for all experiments of laser injury. The laser pulse was delivered to the area of the ventricle indicated by the red dot (Panel A) and resulted in a clear burn-mark at the point of injury (Panel B), see also supplementary movie 1 (V – ventricle, BA – bulbus arteriosus, At – atrium). Position of the embryo is marked by compass lines (c-caudal, cr-cranial, d-dorsal, v-ventral)

Cardiac arrest and cessation of tail blood flow demonstrated the immediate injurious effects of the laser. In addition, cell death and apoptosis resulted in loss of cardiomyocytes. A significant decrease in heart function was observed, yet, by 24 hours post-lasering, complete recovery occurred. The study results showed, for the first time, that a proliferation of new cardiomyocytes drove the functional recovery of the lasered embryo heart ventricle. It also appeared that the laser injury itself stimulated the proliferative process.

In the discussion, the authors note many advantages to using the laser model, including the rate at which the individual zebrafish embryos may be processed, the reproducibility, the ease of testing pharmacological and genetic interventions, and the ability to create regional damage similar to that which occurs from ligation of the coronary artery in mammals.

MOVIE 1: Laser pulse injury (without synchronisation) of the zebrafish embryonic heart ventricle at 72 h post-fertilization– A single laser pulse, using the XYClone Laser Ablator, to the ventricle of a zebrafish embryo (72 hpf) results in instantaneous cardiac injury associated with marked bradycardia and gradual recovery of cardiac rhythm over the next few minutes. A laser burn-mark is clearly seen in the wall of the ventricle. This is an example where there is a clear view of non-overlapped cardiac chambers.

MOVIE 2: Laser pulse injury using the synchronization software of the zebrafish embryonic heart ventricle at 72 h post-fertilization. In this example, atrium and ventricle are overlapped. Attempting to injure the ventricle with a non-synchronized laser system would result in damage to adjacent structures. Synchronizing the laser pulse with the cardiac cycle allows highly precise and targeted injury to the ventricle at end-diastole and consequently minimizes damage to surrounding structures.


OA Open Access Article

Reference: Matrone G, Taylor JM, Wilson KS, Baily J, Love GD, Girkin JM, Mullins JJ, Tucker CS, Denvir MA. Laser-targeted ablation of the zebrafish embryonic ventricle: A novel model of cardiac injury and repair. Int J Cardiol. 2013 Jul 17. doi:pii: S0167-5273(13)01117-0. 10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.06.063. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 23871347

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Supreme Court Settles Question in Stem Cell Funding

For the past three years, a cloud has hung over the question of US government funding for stem cell research.  Earlier this week, the Supreme Court settled the issue when it denied certiorari in the case of Shirley v. Sebelius, thereby letting stand the appeals court decision striking down a lawsuit that challenged the government’s ability to fund embryonic stem cell research.

The various twists and turns of this case are best handled by legal scholars1, but for those of us supportive of stem cell research, this is welcome news.

With an administration supportive of funding stem cell research in office for four at least more years, researchers will now be able to move forward with all varieties of stem cell research, without the threat that funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be ended.

Though I can’t resist the irony that this case was brought by proponents of adult stem cell research, arguing that they would be harmed if embryonic stem cell researchers received funding.  So much for free scientific inquiry
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Hamilton Thorne Ranked As Top 20 Medical Device Company By The Boston Business Journal

The October 12th, 2012 issue of the Boston Business Journal ranked Hamilton Thorne in their top 20 list of “Area’s Largest Medical Device Companies.”

Hamilton Thorne is honored to have made the 2012 list and proud of the accomplishments that our employees have achieved to make the Company a success. We are also especially proud that our lasers and imaging products have enabled some of the most ground-breaking research at our customer sites in the fields of fertility, stem cell research and development biology.


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Did you know that Hamilton Thorne has a YouTube Channel?

Hamilton Thorne is dedicated to helping researchers and clinicians learn the latest and most effective lab techniques, featuring videos and images from some of the world’s leading labs.

Subscribe today to see videos on embryo biopsy, laser-assisted IVF, IMSI-Strict and so much more: http://www.youtube.com/user/HamiltonThorne

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