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INVO Bioscience Achieves Key Milestone: Signs Agreement to Open 1st Joint Venture INVOcell Clinic in the US

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March 15, 2021

INVO Bioscience has signed a 50/50 joint venture agreement in partnership with reproductive specialists Dr. Nicholas Cataldo, MD, MPH, Dr. Karen R. Hammond, DNP, CRNP, and Lisa Ray, MS, ELD, to open the first Joint Venture INVO-exclusive clinic in the United States.

The INVO clinic will be located in Birmingham, Alabama, and is expected to be operational in the second half of 2021.

Steve Shum, CEO of INVO Bioscience, commented, “This is an important milestone for INVO Bioscience as we plan the opening of the first Joint Venture INVOcell-exclusive clinic in the United States in partnership with leading reproductive specialists. The exclusive clinic model creates a unique opportunity for INVO and our partners to drive accelerated adoption of the INVOcell solution while increasing the capacity of the infertility industry, improving affordability, and facilitating greater access for patients.”

Shum concluded, “We are fortunate to partner with such high-caliber partners as Drs. Cataldo, Hammond, and Ray, who are extremely well-versed in the INVOcell technology and have a proven track record of successful implementation within a thriving clinical setting. We believe their expertise will be invaluable as we build a successful operating model which can be replicated for additional INVOcell-exclusive clinics.  We look forward to reporting on those additional activities in the near future.”

Together, the team of Cataldo, Hammond, and Ray has been one of the IVF industry’s leading advocates of the INVOcell solution. Since 2018, they have performed more than 700 cycles with INVOcell with patients traveling to Birmingham from more than 28 states across the country to access the procedure. Dr. Hammond and Lisa Ray are also members of the INVO Bioscience Scientific Advisory Board.

Dr. Nicholas Cataldo is a board-certified Reproductive Endocrinologist. A native of New Jersey, Dr. Cataldo received undergraduate education at Harvard, earned a Master’s degree in Biochemistry at Berkeley, and then attended medical school in the Harvard–MIT Program in Health Science and Technology.

Dr. Cataldo went back to California for residency in Obstetrics-Gynecology at Stanford University and Reproductive Endocrinology – Infertility (REI) fellowship at UCSF, and practiced REI at Stanford upon completion.  A move to Birmingham in 2005 led to a Master of Public Health degree in Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in 2014.  Dr. Cataldo’s career has been informed by a passion for promoting equitable access to reproductive care, focusing on helping patients who have financial and other socio-economic barriers to accessing gynecologic and reproductive services.  Together, Drs. Cataldo and Hammond have analyzed, published, and presented data on the successful use of INVOcell® to improve access to advanced fertility care.

Dr. Karen Hammond, a board-certified Nurse Practitioner, is a native of Birmingham, she earned her three degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and has practiced in reproductive endocrinology and infertility since 1985.  A recognized leader in reproductive endocrinology and infertility, she has lectured at countless local, state, national, and international nursing and medical meetings; has received numerous awards for clinical, research, and professional service; and has published extensively in clinical literature. She has worked with fertility advocacy nonprofit organizations for more than three decades. Her dedication and love for her patients are immeasurable.  In 2018, she established a unique Affordable IVF program that increases access to care for patients needing advanced fertility treatment that has drawn patients to her practice from across the country who have deemed her the Fertility Fairy Godmother.

Lisa Ray is a nationally known and respected embryologist who earned her Master’s in Reproductive Physiology from Southern Illinois University.  Lisa Ray is certified as an ELD (Embryology Lab Director) as well as a Technical Supervisor in both Embryology and Andrology, and she has contributed to this field for almost 30 years and manages ART Labs Unlimited, an IVF Laboratory consulting business.  In addition, Lisa Ray is currently the Laboratory Director/ Technical Supervisor for multiple programs across the United States.  She prides herself and her staff on long-term relationships with both staff and patients.  She attributes much of her success to creating a well-rounded experience for her clients, staff, and patients.  She is dedicated to achieving high success rates using innovative technology and a team mentality.

Dr. Hammond said, “The infertility population in the U.S. is large and significantly underserved. Currently, it is estimated that more than 90% of the patients who need advanced fertility treatment are unable access it.  We believe that the effectiveness, efficiency, and affordability of the INVOcell solution has the ability to be a significant driver in providing the underserved patient population access to the advanced fertility treatment they need and want. We believe that today’s announcement is a significant first step towards improving access to advanced fertility services for hundreds of thousands of patients who would otherwise never have the opportunity.  We are immeasurably excited to partner with INVO on our shared vision.”

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