Meet Joshua Abram, Founder of IVF Management Platform: TMRW Life Sciences

TMRW is the world’s first and only automated, software-driven sample management platform for IVF.

Hundreds of millions of children will owe their lives to IVF over the coming decades. Almost 10% of all children in countries like Denmark are already the result of IVF. This high rate of usefulness should not come as a surprise as 10-15% of heterosexual couples experience infertility and have few options other than IVF to conceive.

And in the future, due to recent medical advances, nearly all of these IVF children will be the result of eggs and embryos that were once “vitrified” — snap frozen at cryogenic temperatures of -196ºC.

TMRW technology replaces the outdated, manual, analog, and error-prone storage system found in every IVF center in the world (which is largely borrowed from animal husbandry and has remained unchanged for four decades) with a secure, “always-alert” Automation, 24/7. 7 Monitoring and robot storage.

Key technical features of TMRW’s cryosample management platform include:

  • Proprietary laboratory equipment with industry-leading thermal properties and fully automated robotic storage (“CryoRobot”) to maintain safe cryogenic temperatures for samples at all times
  • Unique digital identification for each patient using advanced RFID lab equipment, enabling clinics to identify and track samples and create a continuous track-and-trace audit trail
  • Remote monitoring (“Overwatch”) performs hundreds of system performance checks 24/7, enabling the system to proactively monitor clinical and sample safety and ensure the safety of samples under clinical care.
  • Fully encrypted software that provides the highest level of privacy and security for both patient and clinical data

TMRW Life Sciences

How did you come up with the idea for the company?

In 2017, my TMRW co-founder Alan Murray and I met a former colleague who had just undergone IVF. Back then, we knew little about the world of fertility medicine or IVF. However, we were intrigued by her story and started exploring the fertility space at first just out of curiosity without thinking of starting a business.

But what we discovered really shocked us. Despite the staggering market growth in the IVF space, cryomanagement – the process by which oocytes and embryos are frozen and preserved for use in fertility treatments – had changed little for decades.

After spending more than 20 years building, funding, and selling venture-backed companies in the data science and machine learning industries—areas where everything is traceable and information is accessible in real-time—we couldn’t believe the Life’s most valuable cells do not exist in a similarly tracked and managed manner.

We soon hooked up with a fellow New York serial entrepreneur, Jeff Port. Jeff is a surgeon and a member of the Weill Cornell School of Medicine in New York. But alongside his surgery and teaching, Jeff is also a gifted commercial innovator. His first company, RFID Surgical, pioneered the use of RFID in surgical applications. Just before we founded TMRW, he sold that company to Medtronics (NYSE: MDT), the $140 billion leader in healthcare technology.

Fortunately, with this sale, the original tech team Jeff assembled for the RFID innovation was available and played a critical role in developing TMRW technology to accurately track eggs and embryos in demanding cryogenic environments, something that ” the “experts” kept telling us “wasn’t possible” – until we did.

Together, Jeff, Alan and I committed to creating a company that would lead the technology and automation revolution in IVF. This wave of innovation will bring tremendous benefits to patients: TMRW and our partner IVF clinics are now able to offer an exponentially higher level of safety when it comes to the care and management of the frozen oocytes and embryos that are at the heart of most IVF procedures . But that’s just the beginning.

With the introduction of more TMRW technology, these same centers will be able to offer hopeful parents significantly improved access to IVF services by reducing both the cost and time required for IVF through automation.

Personally, nothing in my life has been more meaningful or rewarding than being a father. Therefore, it is a special privilege to help millions of people who would not be able to become parents without IVF experience the joy of having children.

Our work at TMRW ensures that the irreplaceable vitrified oocytes and embryos that are at the heart of almost every IVF birth are always safe and perfectly cared for – and never a cause for concern for clinicians or those who start or want to start growing theirs Familys. And going forward, TMRW will lead a broader technological revolution in IVF that will dramatically democratize access to fertility care. This prospect of developing and deploying technology that will enable more people to access and afford quality IVF is extremely motivating for both the TMRW founders and our team.

How has the company performed during the pandemic?

COVID-19 has drawn attention to the health and life sciences sectors like never before, highlighting the need for rapid progress and digital transformation in all sectors but especially in fertility. And IVF did indeed grow at a record pace during the pandemic, to some extent, as a result of people having more flexible time to take the IVF journey thanks to a two-year work-from-home mandate mandated for many people.

Now, investment in fertility startups is at an all-time high. In fact, Crunchbase found that investments in fertility grew 89% year over year in 2021, and that trend looks set to continue this year.

As a result of clear demand and opportunity in the fertility space, TMRW raised $105 million in a debt and equity round. The Series C funding round was led by Transformation Capital and included participation from GV (formerly Google Ventures), Casdin Capital, Peter Thiel, Anne and Susan Wojcicki, and existing investors 5AM Ventures and Life Sciences Innovation Fund.

Our recent funding has helped accelerate our global expansion (including the opening of a London office) and fuel our product innovation efforts. This capital will also be used to increase consumer awareness of the platform, which we always envisioned as a B2B2C brand.

What can we expect from TMRW in the future?

TMRW has achieved great success since the company was founded four years ago, with our technology already having contracts with IVF centers operating 30 clinics across the United States

For 2022 and beyond, global expansion is a major priority, especially as America accounts for less than 10% of global IVF activity, while the UK and Europe account for ~25% and Asia accounts for another ~50% of IVF activity. TMRW was conceived from day one as a global operator and we are now delivering on that vision.

For the future we look to automate an increasing number of functions in the critical IVF laboratory where sperm and egg are brought together to create valuable embryos. Alongside our continuous technical innovation and leadership, TMRW is committed to rapidly deploying our platform to hundreds of clinics worldwide looking to begin automating the IVF process for the benefit of patients. Meet Joshua Abram, Founder of IVF Management Platform: TMRW Life Sciences

Fry Electronics Team

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