Legacy and Veterans Health Administration launch CRADA to better understand the contributing factors of male infertility in military veterans
Legacy, the leading digital male fertility clinic, today announced it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to test and cryopreserve sperm for over 1,000 Global War On Terror (GWOT) veterans across the United States. The study aims to shed light on the potential causes of infertility in the military.
Military members who have served in recent conflicts are 2X more likely to experience infertility, yet the cause of this widespread problem is greatly misunderstood. With VHA and Legacy’s partnership, over 1,000 U.S. military veterans will have their sperm analyzed, cryogenically stored and then reanalyzed 6 months later to identify decreases in quality over time and trends within aggregate data across several variables including burn pit exposure, traumatic brain injury, and post traumatic stress disorder. With this data, the VHA will be able to expand the fertility services offered to veterans who struggle with infertility as a result of their service in the military.
“As a VA physician, I have witnessed firsthand Veterans struggling with family building, and this effort is important to further understanding and tackling a challenge so many of our nation’s Veterans face,” said Dr. Ryan Vega, VHA Chief Officer of the Office of Healthcare Innovation and Learning.
“Protecting the ability of our military to have children is fundamental to supporting those who have served our country so honorably,” said Khaled Kteily, CEO and founder of Legacy. “This CRADA will allow the US Department of Veterans Affairs to quantify the negative impact of environmental toxins on sperm health, and, with this knowledge, Legacy will be able to better meet the fertility needs of today’s and tomorrow’s active duty members and veterans.”
David Shulkin, MD, Former Secretary of the US Department of Veterans Affairs noted, “infertility has been largely ignored when it comes to toxic exposures. This work is essential to honor the commitments we made to our veterans.”
The partnership is led by Leandro DaSilva, Acting Director at the VA New England Center for Innovation Excellence (NECIE), and John Crowley, Head of Military Affairs at Legacy. In addition to its partnership with the US Department of Veterans Affairs, Legacy is the preferred male fertility provider for Military Family Building Coalition and the Green Beret Foundation, offering active duty Naval Special Warfare operators and Green Berets access to Legacy’s at-home sperm testing and one year of cryopreservation for free. Legacy is also the digital fertility clinic of choice for Operation Baby.
To learn more about Legacy’s work with the military, visit givelegacy.com/military.
About Give Legacy, Inc.
Give Legacy, Inc. aims to humanize the path to parenthood by giving customers the ability to engage in sperm analysis, DNA fragmentation, sperm freezing, and STI testing all from their home. Legacy is the largest fertility clinic by volume in North America, testing more sperm than any other clinic and is trusted by thousands to improve their sperm health. Founded in 2018 out of the Harvard Innovation Labs, Legacy is a Y-Combinator backed startup with leading investors including Bain Capital Ventures, FirstMark Capital, Section 32, TQ Ventures, Tribe Capital, and celebrity investors including Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Orlando Bloom, and DJ Khaled. Legacy offers services to leading organizations including Naval Special Warfare, The Green Beret Foundation, and Memorial Sloan Kettering, among others, and the company is the preferred male fertility partner to benefits providers Progyny, Maven, Carrot, Kindbody, and others. For more information visit givelegacy.com.
About Veterans Health Administration
The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is the largest integrated health care system in the United States, providing care at 1,298 health care facilities, including 171 VA Medical Centers and 1,113 outpatient sites of care of varying complexity (VHA outpatient clinics) to over 9 million Veterans enrolled in the VA health care program.