Copenhagen, Denmark (ots/PRNewswire) -
- "Approximately five more pregnancies per 100 women treated" with
MENOPUR compared to recombinant treatment
New data presented today at the ESHRE (European Society of Human
Reproduction and Embryology) congress supports the efficacy of
MENOPUR (menotrophin), a highly purified, naturally-derived
infertility treatment belonging to the class of drugs known as
gonadotrophins, in IVF therapy.
MERiT (Menotrophin vs. Recombinant FSH in vitro Fertilisation
Trial), the largest, prospective, randomised assessor-blind trial in
IVF, is a head-to-head comparison of MENOPUR, a treatment containing
both FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) and hCG-driven (human
chorionic gonadotrophin) LH-activity (luteinizing hormone) and
Gonal-F, which contains only recombinant FSH (rFSH).(1)
In line with previous studies(2) the direction of the findings in
MERiT indicates a beneficial influence of LH-activity on ongoing
pregnancy rate in IVF cycles (27% with MENOPUR and 22% with
GONAL-F).(3) MERiT provides major weight in the evidence of higher
efficacy of MENOPUR over recombinant FSH. Treatment with MENOPUR
resulted in the production of a higher proportion of top quality
embryos with an improved capacity to implant and establish a
"MERiT showed that out of every 100 women treated with MENOPUR,
five more became pregnant, which would be clinically very important,"
points out MERiT clinical investigator Dr Anders Nyboe Andersen from
the Rigshospitalet Fertility Clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark.(5) "To
find out why and how on a biological basis we look forward to
According to Dr Johan Smitz from the Follicle Biology Laboratory
and Centre for Reproductive Medicine, Free University of Brussels
(VUB), Belgium, the human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in MENOPUR
provide a potentially breakthrough clue and exciting new science.
"Normal human reproduction depends on the co-ordinated activity of
FSH and LH activity. The heightened hCG levels at day six of
treatment and the resulting constant LH activity produced by MENOPUR
appears to be an important factor in both embryo quality and
pregnancy rates. Just like the ever growing story of aspirin, we are
learning new things about a class of treatment which has been
available and used effectively for decades."(5)
The current MERiT results are based on the use of "fresh cycles".
Live birth data are currently being collected. In addition, more than
1,000 embryos were frozen during the trial and data from these
"frozen cycles" are also being gathered.
The MERiT study was a large, randomised, prospective
assessor-blind, multinational (10-country) study involving over 730
women undergoing controlled ovarian hyperstimulation (COH) in IVF.
MERiT has a state of the art study design and innovative approaches
to embryo assessment, analysis of intra-follicular endocrine
environment and frozen embryo cycles. Patients received either
MENOPUR or rFSH by sub-cutaneous injection, in addition to identical
concomitant GnRH agonist, hCG and progesterone treatment.
Serum endocrine profiles were analysed centrally. Embryo quality
was assessed according to rigorous criteria both locally and
centrally, and the transfer of one or two embryos of a defined
minimum quality was carried out on the third day after egg retrieval.
MENOPUR is well-tolerated,(6) high quality and cost-effective(7)
treatment associated with a significantly higher ongoing pregnancy
rate in IVF cycles compared with that seen for women treated with
rFSH alone.(4) It belongs to a class of drugs known as
gonadotrophins and contains both FSH (follicle stimulating hormone)
and hCG-driven (human chorionic gonadotrophin) LH-activity
(luteinizing hormone) . MENOPUR is used to stimulate the development
of multiple follicles in women participating in an Assisted
Reproductive Technology (ART) programme. MENOPUR is also used to
treat infertility in women caused by anovulation (low-level
production of eggs).
MENOPUR is used by more than 43,000 patients each year and is
currently licensed in 44 countries across Europe.
Ferring is a Swiss-based research driven, specialty
biopharmaceutical group active in global markets. The company
identifies, develops and markets innovative products in the areas of
endocrinology, gastroenterology, gynaecology, infertility and
In recent years Ferring has expanded beyond its traditional
European base and now has operating subsidiaries in over 40
To learn more about Ferring or our products please visit
(1) Wolfenson C, Groisman J, Couto AS, Hedenfalk M, Cortvrindt RG,
Smitz JE, Jespersen S. Batch-to-batch consistency of human-derived
gonadotrophin preparations compared with recombinant preparations.
Reprod Biomed Online 2005; 10(4): 442-454.
(2) Platteau P, Smitz J, Albano C, Sorensen P, Arce JC, Devroey P.
Exogenous luteinizing hormone activity may influence the treatment
outcome in in vitro fertilization but not in intracytoplasmic sperm
injection cycles. Fertil Steril 2004; 81(5): 1401-1404.
(3) Ziebe S, Lundin K, Janssens R, Helmgaard L, Arce, J-C for the
MERIT (Menoptrophin vs Recombinant FSH in vitro Fertilisation Trial)
Group. Comparison of embryo quality after stimulation with highly
purified menotrophin and recombinant FSH in IVF cycles. Abstracts of
the 21st Annual meeting of the ESHRE, Copenhagen, Denmark, 19-22 June
2005, i76 (O-205).
(4) Nyboe Andersen A, Devroey P, Arce J-C for the MERIT
(Menotrophin vs Recombinant FSH in vitro Fertilisation Trial) Group.
A randomised trial (MERIT) comparing highly purified menotrophin and
recombinant FSH in IVF. Abstracts of the 21st Annual meeting of the
ESHRE, Copenhagen, Denmark, 19-22 June 2005, i19 (O-054).
(5) Speaking at the Ferring MERiT Study press conference during
the time of the ESHRE congress, Bella Centre, Copenhagen, 20 June
(6) European and Israeli Study Group on Highly Purified Menotropin
versus Recombinant Follicle-Stimulating Hormone. Efficacy and safety
of highly purified menotropin versus recombinant follicle-stimulating
hormone in in vitro fertilization/intracytoplasmic sperm injection
cycles: a randomized, comparative trial. Fertil Steril 2002; 78(3):
(7) Lloyd A, Kennedy R, Hutchinson J, Sawyer W. Economic
evaluation of highly purified menotropin compared with recombinant
follicle stimulating hormone in assisted reproduction. Fertil Steril
2003: 80(5): 1108-1113.
ots Originaltext: Ferring Pharmaceuticals A/S
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