Cryos was established in 1987 in Aarhus, Denmark, by the founder, Mr. Ole Schou. Mr. Schou had for a long time had an idea of creating a sperm bank. He holds a degree as H.D. (Graduate Diploma in Business and Marketing & Administration).
"Cryos" is Greek and means "ice" (from crystallos). The word is also known from "cryobiology". In English a sperm bank is often called a "cryobank".
The office and laboratory were initially established as a service for men who were going to have a vasectomy and for cancer patients who needed to have their sperm frozen before chemotherapy or radiation.
In 1990, the donor program was established and the first portions of donor semen were released and delivered after the quarantine in April 1991. The demand increased very quickly. Initially, clinics in Denmark started receiving semen from Cryos, followed by clinics in Norway, Finland, Iceland, UK, Greece, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, etc. The clinics were particularly satisfied with the high quality of semen resulting in a high pregnancy outcome (between 20-30% per cycle) and the professional service with immediate supply from a relatively high selection of different donors.
In 1994, two new locations were opened: Copenhagen and Odense. At that time, Cryos had customers in 19 countries: Europe, Australia, Asia, Africa and America.
In 1995, Cryos started distributing other sperm related products such as preparation media, IUI-catheters, counting chambers, etc. The same year Cryos started its own production of culture media called SpermWash®.
In 2001, Cryos opened a branch in Seatlle, WA, USA called Scandinavian Cryobank. The purpose was to meet the specific US-market criteria and the specific demand for Scandinavian donors. The market in the USA is very different from other markets around the world, because it is not the clinics, but mainly the patients who choose the sperm bank and select the donor. This way patients gain access to donor lists and extended donor profiles which could not be organized within the "clinic-only" concept of Cryos. Also in 2001, a new extensive website on was introduced with a donor list, product list, prices, and on-line credit card payment.
In 2002, our media develop- and manufacturing daughter-company ProVitro was established in the Science Park of Odense in co-operation with the co-owner Steen Laursen, Ph.D. The company took over production of SpermWash and a new product called SpermFilter® was launched. SpermFilter® is a density gradient media for purification of spermatozoa for IUI and IVF/ICSI. SpermFilter® is a high quality product which is less expensive than competitive products. Also in 2002, our Distributor List was created.
In 2003, SpermFilter® became the leading brand for sperm preparation media in Denmark. The international interest in this product has increased day by day. In 2003 the branch in Seattle, Scandinavian Cryobank was shut down after the managing director Peter Bower, Ph.D was trapped in serious fraud. The branch was reopened in New York later the same year by the new managing director, Claus Rodgaard.
In 2005, a new all time updated online Donor Search program (for clinics only) was made with available stock per donor showing the different qualities and prices. At the same time, an online Pregnancy Reporting page was made.
SpermCryo™ All-round was developed. This freezing medium gives a 30% better survival rate and can be used for freezing of all kinds of semen whether it is oligozoospermia, teratozoospermia, asthenozoospermia, normospermia, raw semen, spermatozoa that has been purified with a swim-up or gradient centrifugation, or testicular aspirated spermatozoa. The product was launced in 2006.
In 2006, the Cryos franchise system was ready. For quite a number of years, Cryos has been working on developing a franchise system, presenting an entire Cryos sperm bank concept. The franchise system contains standard operation procedures, a comprehensive computer system, training courses, a new common website, and other important issues for running a Cryos sperm bank. The idea with this concept is to establish high quality sperm banks internationally based on the concept, know-how, and technology that has been fundamental for Cryos´ success. Due to this Cryos has been divided into two companies: Cryos International (franchisor) and Cryos International - Denmark (franchisee).
In 2006 IUI-ready units became available from Cryos and Cryos started operating with non-anonymous donors. The donor search page on the internet was extended with search for IUI-ready units, donor types (anonymous/non-anonymous) and MOT-qualities. In 2006 Cryos spent a lot of time preparing for the new EU Tissue Directive and sub-directives which came into force on April 7, 2007. See the EU-Tissue license for Cryos International - Denmark.
In 2007, Scandinavian Cryobank in New York was changed to a full range Cryos franchise department with laboratory facilities and licensed by New York State department of Health. Instead of just being a distributor of donated semen from Denmark, Cryos International - New York started to have their own donors. An online Pregnancy Quota program (for clinics only) was published.
In 2007 Cryos delivered donor semen to clinics in more than 60 countries and sperm related products to clinics and distributors in over 70 countries. Cryos may be described as the largest sperm bank in the world with more than 250 donors available and more than 1,200 pregnancies reported every year.
In 2008, increasing demand for donor semen lead us to open a new department in Aalborg - the 3rd largest city of Denmark. More clinical staff was employed in all departments and a search for larger facilities in the main department in Aarhus was started. We found these facilities in June 2008, only 100 meters away from our old address; a whole floor of 1,024 sqm. in an old warehouse. Link to view old websites of Cryos before 2007 and after 2007.
Cryos will continue the high quality of service related to its area of expertise including donor semen, patient deposits, and other semen related clinical products. Furthermore, Cryos will continue developing new and improved sperm related knowledge and equipment for clinical use.
It is Cryos' policy to support scientific research and development related to semen and male fertility. Each year considerable funds are allocated to research and development. Throughout the years, these funds have contributed to help us develop the company and its services.