Reproductive technology company Memphasys has announced findings from a trial at a stud farm of its semen storage and transport device in November, which will lead to further work on medium and operational improvements of the AI-Port product.
In an ASX statement on Thursday, the company said the trial at the Hunter region, NSW site used AI-Port, which stores and transports animal semen for artificial insemination at ambient temperatures, rather than freezing.
Freezing is destructive to sperm viability.
The pregnancy comparison field trial used semen from four bulls, achieving a pregnancy rate 60 per cent of that observed using conventional cryostorage procedures.
“While the results are a significant improvement on the initial field trial conducted in [an initial pilot study in] April 2023, there is still more work to be done to make it comparable to traditional AI practices in cattle,” said Acting CEO and Managing Director David Ali in a statement.
“Despite this, MEM remains strongly of the belief that we can close the gap to conventional practice with the eventual aim of successfully providing better outcomes over traditional AI methods.”
The company said it will now use results to improve identifiable areas, “particularly optimising the media and instituting operational improvements in the field”.
The trial added the step of “removing seminal plasma through a centrifugation process” following the 2023 trial, which was found to extend sperm longevity up to seven days.
Further improvements to the device’s medium will include evaluating modified chemicals, such as “supplementation with additional antioxidants, and changes to the energy substrates provided to the spermatozoa to sustain their motility.” Operational improvements identified include establishing a field laboratory at the site of semen collection.
This media optimisation work is scheduled for Q3-Q4 FY2024, and will be undertaken by a group led by University of Newcastle researchers led by Memphasys’s Scientific Director, Professor John Aitken.
Picture: Angus, a bull sculpture outside The Port Office building at Brisbane (credit Wikimedia Commons/Kgbo)