The VUB Research Group Follicle Biology (FOBI) under the direction of Prof. Dr. Johan Smitz developed extensive knowledge and expertise in gene expression of cumulus cells. This resulted in the Aurora Test, which is used for determining the oocyte quality in the process of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and social freezing.
The aim of the Aurora Test is to increase the efficiency in IVF-ICSI by selecting the embryo from the oocyte with the highest quality. Results from the first prospective study showed doubling of the pregnancy rate by applying this test. A second application is the improvement of the outcome of social freezing of oocytes.
Together with ex-employees of Roche Diagnostics, ir. Elien Van Hecke and Prof. Dr. André Rosenthal, Prof. Dr. Johan Smitz co-founded Fertiga in 2017 to further develop and validate this technology in collaboration with UZ Brussel, one of the global leading IVF centers.