ReproUnion Biobank and Infertility Cohort (RUBIC)
Data collection was initiated in June 2020 and is expected to last 5-8 years.
Infertility affects 15%–25% of all couples during their reproductive life span. It is a significant societal and public health problem with potential psychological, social, and economic consequences. Furthermore, infertility has been linked to adverse long-term health outcomes. Despite the advanced diagnostic and therapeutic techniques available, approximately 30% of infertile couples do not obtain a live birth after fertility treatment. For these couples, there are no further options to increase their chances of a successful pregnancy and live birth.
Aims and Study Design
The overall aim with RUBIC is 1) to identify risk factors of infertility, early embryonic loss, and adverse pregnancy outcomes, 2) to develop new diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers of fecundity and treatment success, and 3) for both men and women in infertile couples to characterize the health profiles at the time of fertility treatment and during long-term follow-up, and the natural course of infertility.
RUBIC is established as a large-scale research project with extended investigation and biobanking in addition to the routine fertility management at public Hospital Departments in the Capital Region of Denmark and Reproductive Medicine Centre at Skåne University Hospital in Sweden. All eligible infertile couples are prospectively asked to participate in the project, and the participating men and women (regardless of the cause of infertility being identified as male, female or combined/unknown) complete an extensive questionnaire, undergo a physical examination, and collection of bio-specimens (blood, urine, hair, saliva, rectal swabs/feces, semen). When the cohort is established, the couples will be linked to the extensive Danish and Swedish national registers to obtain information on adult life histories, including diagnosed diseases and medical prescriptions.
For further details on the cohort, please see the RUBIC profile paper and the homepage containing a video(in Danish/Swedish) about the project:
RUBIC (ReproUnion Biobank and Infertility Cohort): A binational clinical foundation to study risk factors, life course, and treatment of infertility and infertility-related morbidity. Priskorn L, Tøttenborg SS, Almstrup K et al. Andrology. 2021; 9(6):11828-1842.
EDMaRC's Role and the Research Team behind RUBIC
The Danish men are examined at Department of Growth and Reproduction. Niels Jørgensen is PI of the data collection on Danish men and member of the RUBIC Board. Other key persons at the department are: Lærke Priskorn, Anders Juul, Ann Holm Hansen, Laura Smidt Hansen, Helene Balling, Anna-Maria Andersson, and Kristian Almstrup.
Data collection of Danish women is conducted at the public Fertility Departments in the Capital region of Denmark, and Swedish couples are all examined at Reproductive Medicine Centre at Skåne University Hospital in Sweden.
RUBIC is a public health initiative of the ReproUnion Consortium (www.reprounion.eu) - an interdisciplinary collaboration between Danish and Swedish partners at public hospitals and universities, and the healthcare industry. The planning of the cohort has been guided by a voluntary external advisory board of experts from other European countries and the United States. In addition, a binational board with representatives of the ReproUnion stakeholders take responsibility for current and future optimal utilization of the collected data and biomaterial.
RUBIC is part of the ReproUnion collaborative study, co-financed by EU Interreg ÖKS, Capital Region of Denmark, Region Skåne, and Ferring Pharmaceuticals. None of the funders have any role in the study design, data collection, analysis or interpretation of data, or publication decisions.