top of page
Newsroom Latest News

Newsroom: Latest News

Studies Suggest Sperm Counts Have Declined 50% in the Last 50 Years; New Innovation May Help Address Male Infertility

Nouzilly, June 04, 2024 – A 2022 review found that human sperm counts in adult males have steadily declined, decreasing an average of 1.2% per year globally since 1973 and falling from 104 million to 49 million per milliliter through 2019. Since then, the problem has accelerated. Sperm counts declined more than 2.6% per year since 2020. The causes of reduced counts are not yet clear, but recent studies point to microplastics, which have been found to leach endocrine-disrupting chemicals into the body.

“Lower sperm counts may affect ability to conceive,” said René Frydman, Professor at Foch Hospital in Suresnes, France. “Historically, treatments have focused on women, yet reduced sperm count and quality are major factors in as many as half of infertility cases.”

Infertility affects up to 186 million individuals worldwide, with approximately 48 million couples seeking medical assistance. For more than 50 years, physicians have relied on injections of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) to treat infertility.

“FSH is an effective treatment approach in some cases, but it’s not a complete solution. On average, it takes women undergoing treatment with FSH four to five treatment cycles of up to 20 injections per cycle over two years to achieve a 60-70% success rate. Additionally, FSH fails to address male infertility,” said Frydman.

Scientists at Igyxos Biotherapeutics, an emerging biopharmaceutical company specializing in infertility solutions, are developing a novel therapeutic aimed at addressing not only female, but also male infertility. IGX12 is a first-in-class monoclonal antibody (mAb) with a completely new mode of action that is designed to boost the bioactivity of endogenous FSH, which is naturally found in the body. This will enable physicians to offer a new approach to infertile couples while reducing the number of hormonal injections substantially. Animal studies have shown IGX12 to produce superior ovarian response in females and increase spermatogenesis in males. It is the first new molecule patented for infertility in more than 40 years. If it achieves regulatory approval, it will also be the first and only treatment for male infertility available to patients and their physicians. IGX12 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical study.

“Because IGX12 could potentially be used to treat both male and female infertility, a couple could be treated simultaneously to increase chances of success. Importantly, it could help to reduce the burden on women both by reducing the number of injections and by enabling couples to share in the treatment process,” said Marie-Christine Maurel, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer & Founder at Igyxos. “IGX12 is designed to enhance the bioactivity of endogenous FSH, which is critical to both male and female reproductive processes. By improving FSH receptor binding and activation, IGX12 aims to increase both sperm counts in males and ovulation in females.”

More information on this page

About Igyxos

Igyxos’ mission is to develop new and innovative medical and pharmaceutical technologies in the field of human fertility. Igyxos is involved in all phases of development, from the discovery of promising targets to the identification of potential active compounds such as antibodies. The success of its €7.5 million Series A funding led by Bpifrance, through the FABS funds, alongside with Go Capital Amorçage II and Loire Valley Invest Funds managed by Go Capital and the Emergence Innovation II Fund managed by Sofimac Innovation, will allow Igyxos to develop its lead compound and reach clinical proof of concept.

Press Contacts:


Sylvie Bové


Marie-Christine Maurel

bottom of page