Navarrabiomed launches ReproNAGEN, a project that will conduct genome-wide analysis in patients with fertility problems

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Navarrabiomed launches ReproNAGEN, a project that will conduct genome-wide analysis in patients with fertility problems

The ReproNAGEN project partners have met to start the work of this project whose objective is to identify new causes and solutions for infertility of genetic origin and the prevention of serious genetic diseases in new-borns.

The first meeting of the ReproNAGEN consortium took place last Friday at Navarrabiomed headquarters. This new initiative aims to study the impact of human genome analysis on the diagnosis and treatment of couples with fertility problems by creating a personalized diagnostic algorithm and therapeutic circuit based on the study of the complete parental genome. The consortium of the project is formed by the University Hospital of Navarra (HUN), the company NNBi, and the Navarrabiomed biomedical research centre, which leads and coordinates its development. Together, they form a complete team of professionals from very different fields, involved in the use of genomic data for health and development purposes, working jointly to make this project a reality.

It should be noted that approximately 1 in 6 people worldwide suffers from fertility problems during their reproductive life, some 48 million couples. The usual protocols for the diagnosis of fertility problems and repeated abortions are often ineffective since the problem persists in a relevant proportion of couples with idiopathic sterility or with repeated abortions of unknown cause. 

One of the main limitations of in vitro fertilization treatments is the existence of hormonal alterations that hinder the interaction of the embryo with the endometrium, necessary for implantation. The ReproNAGEN project aims to analyse, through genetic sequencing, the cause or set of genetic causes underlying human infertility problems, specifically those related to poor embryo quality manifested in the form of recurrent implantation failure and repeated abortions.

ReproNAGEN has a budget of 1.3 million euros, financed by the General Directorate of Industry, Energy and Strategic Projects S4, of the Department of Economic Development, through the call for aid for strategic R&D projects promoting the implementation of high-impact initiatives that are aligned with the sectors identified in the Smart Specialization Strategy (RIS4) of Navarra.

NAGEN Program

Since the year 2016 Navarrabiomed leads the Navarra Strategy in Genomic Medicine of the SNS-O (NAGEN). Since then, and thanks to the support of the Government of Navarra, the centre has promoted the development of five strategic projects: NAGENMx, NAGENCOL, NAGENPediatrics, Pharmanagen and NAGEN1000. The common denominator of all these projects is the use of the information contained in the human genome to improve the management and treatment of SNS-O patients. The information contained in the genome intersects with other aspects of the pathology and with the information contained in the clinical history. The combination of these sources of information, namely, genomics and clinical, has made it possible to pinpoint the causes of some diseases, make more precise diagnoses or modify patient management towards a more effective treatment.

These initiatives, together with ReproNAGEN, are making it possible to implement the necessary infrastructures in the SNS-O healthcare circuit so that the information contained in the genome can be used as a method for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. 


Jesús Zabaleta, Coordinator of the Assisted Reproduction Unit of the University Hospital of Navarra - principal investigator of the project, Amaia Martínez Carrasco, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Service of the HUN, Ángel Alonso, director of the NAGEN program and Principal investigator of the Genomic Medicine Unit of Navarrabiomed and Beatriz Orduña Navarrabiomed project management. Onintza Sayar from the company NNBi participated online.