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Funding Insights:

  • In a unique partnership, digital-first retailer Pratech Brands has invested in “Inaari”, a brand focused on women’s health. Inaari focuses on helping women understand their hormonal cycle and encourages them to live before it. Through Inaari, Pratech aims to address the issues that women often face but are not talked about.
  • Biotech company Enzene Biosciences Ltd (Enzene), a subsidiary of Alkem Laboratories, has raised $50 million from Alkem Laboratories, Eight Roads Ventures, and F-Prime Capital. The company hopes to use the funds to improve manufacturing capabilities and drive expansion in India and the US. 

Global Funding:

  • Teal Health has raised $8.8M in seed funding from investors, including Emerson Collective, Serena Ventures, Metrodora Ventures, and Felicis Ventures, to build a women’s health platform focused on solving some of the most pressing issues in women’s health – starting with cervical cancer.
  • TBD Health, a sexual healthcare provider with a mission to revolutionize the medical landscape through unparalleled digital and in-person clinical care, has raised a $4.4M seed round led by Tusk Venture Partners. 
  • Berlin-based femtech company XbyX – Women in Balance, announced a 7-figure pre-series A financing round, which will support its continued growth in 2023. The round was led by ECONA AG, the venture arm of a Berlin-based family office. 

FemTech News:

  • Four female doctors bring the first menopause clinic to Nagpur Indi.  The menopause clinic will focus on physical, psychological, and hormonal health as well as post-menopause issues like obesity, fragile bones, breast, and cervix cancers.
  • National telemedicine service e-Sanjeevani serves over four lakh patients every day and has been used by more than 9.3 crore patients across the country to date, noted the Economic Survey 2023 ahead of the Budget. 
  • A micro-device has been shown to improve embryo quality, allowing for the automation and standardisation of IVF. The technology involves each embryo growing inside its own micro-3D printed pod which protects the embryo and enables automated changes to the nutritive composition of the formulated solutions that bathes it.
  • Remote patient monitoring aims to transform healthcare by using AI & Wearable – Remote Patient Monitoring Devices report forecasts that the RPM market will increase from $548.9 million in 2020 to $760 million in 2030 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.3%.
  • Finance Minister backs AI ecosystem to ensure innovation & research. Finance Minister  Nirmala Sitharaman said the government will set up three excellence centres that will use artificial intelligence (AI) to conduct research in several fields, including medicine, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and sustainability. 
  • Migraine diagnosed before pregnancy linked to adverse outcomes during pregnancy
  • Research supports weight-neutral care for women with binge eating disorders

FemTech India Members Highlight:

  • MAMMA-MIYA was selected in the final cohort that made it to Phase 2: investment readiness for the LevelUp program by #googleforstartups & 91springboard.
  • Sirona Hygine’s Social Arm – Sirona HygiENE Foundation educated underprivileged women and children about sustainable menstruation and also donated menstrual cups to them.
  • Through a partnership with Humanitarian Aid International the team has been spreading awareness of sustainable menstruation. Recently, the team revisited a camp where they distributed free cups nine months back.
  • Plush was awarded Gold in the Best B2C Campaign category for NoSheaveNovember by social stars
  • CysterCare was a part of the 91Springboard and Google for Startups program

Global Femtech Companies & News:

  • Amazon is launching a generic medication subscription service through its online pharmacy. RxPass, which will be available to Prime members, will deliver generic drugs for common conditions like high blood pressure, anxiety and acid reflux. 
  • Mamahood has launched an “innovative” femtech app to empower women in the Middle East and North Africa with professional care, guidance, and community support.Mamahood offers a range of health-tracking tools, including menstrual and pregnancy tracking, educational content and community support to allow women to connect and receive support from fellow mothers and healthcare advisors.
  • The Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, was the lead site for a study evaluating Phase I and Phase III clinical trials for elacestrant, a treatment for postmenopausal women and adult men with ER+/HER2- advanced or metastatic breast cancer.
  • Tia, the women’s health company pioneering a “whole-woman, whole-life” hybrid care model is now teaming up with Cedars-Sinai, one of California’s leading health systems, to expand access to primary and speciality care for women across Los Angeles. Together, the two healthcare companies will provide and enhance high-quality physical, mental and reproductive healthcare for more than 100,000 women throughout the Los Angeles region.

Drugs, Diagnostics, and Pharma:

  • Indian pharma and clinical research organisations are working to explore the potential usage of ChatGPT in pharmacovigilance, the science of monitoring the safety of medications.
  • Sun Pharma recently launched its phenobarbital sodium injection, Sezaby, to treat neonatal seizures in the US.Sezaby is the first and only product approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for the treatment of neonatal seizures in term and pre-term infants, Sun Pharma said in a regulatory filing. It is a benzyl alcohol-free and propylene glycol-free formulation of phenobarbital sodium powder for injection.
  • Sun Pharma today acquired three brands viz Disperzyme (Trypsin BP 96 mg, Bromelain. Wemg and Rutoside Trihydrate 200 mg), Disperzyme-CD (Trypsin BP 48elain 90 mg and Rutoside Trihydrate 100 mg) and Phlogam (Trypsin BP 48 mg, Bromelain 90 mg and Rutoside Trihydrate 100 mg) from Aksigen Hospital Care, a Mumbai-based research-driven healthcare entity with over two decades of experience in the healthcare field.
  • The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved MSD’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab), anti-PD-1 therapy for the treatment of persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical cancer in adults whose tumours express PD-L1 with a CPS≥1, according to a statement from MSD.
  • New Data Suggests Daré Bioscience’s Intravaginal Ring Can Help Manage Vasomotor and Vaginal Menopause Symptoms. DARE-HRT1 is a novel, investigational intravaginal ring designed to deliver bio-identical 17β-estradiol and bio-identical progesterone continuously over 28 days as part of an HT regimen. HT is used to treat vasomotor symptoms and genitourinary syndrome associated with menopause.

Government News:

  • A board meeting on National Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) and Surrogacy Act was convened by the Union Health- Minister Mansukh Mandaviya virtually (Hybrid mode) with all state health ministers in New Delhi. The meeting was attended by Medical Education Minister, Andhra Pradesh, Vidadala Rajini; Principal Secretary M T Krishna Babu, Commissioner of Health and Family Welfare J Nivas, and Principal Secretary Medical And Health Anil Kumar Singhal added the release.
  • Concerning the re-stickering of price-controlled scheduled drugs and the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has issued a circular to the state drug controllers (SDCs) stating that it has no objection to relabeling and stickering of the drugs under Rule 104A of Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Rules and directed them not to intervene on the same.

Research, Insights, and Market Projections:

  • There will be a flurry of nutrient and women’s wellness products to cater to over 17 million women suffering from menopause symptoms, according to Dr Shahzadi Harper, menopause specialist and founder of the Harper Clinic in Harley Street.
  • The future of innovative fashion is femtech. We will slowly start seeing more talk around innovative solutions deemed ‘menopause friendly’, such as 100 per cent breathable fabrics that help with hot flushes and even help cool down the skin.
  • Investment will be made to design these specialist ranges with it aligning similarly with how high-end sports tech brands utilise lightweight technology and advancements in materials to appeal to their target market.
  • According to a new study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Kimia Shafighi of McGill University in Canada and colleagues, social lifestyle determinants, including social isolation, are associated with neurodegeneration risk factors.
  • Patients diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in a Southern state that expanded access to Medicaid were more likely to receive treatment and less likely to be diagnosed with advanced-stage disease, according to new research published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons (JACS).

Budget 2023:

  • Budget 2023 has a clear focus on encouraging research and development by the pharmaceuticals industry and the promotion of medical research both by the private and public sectors. 
  • The total allocation for health in the budget stood at 2.1 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP)
  • 157 new nursing colleges will be established in colocation with the existing 157 medical colleges established since 2014.
  • 220 crores of COVID-19 vaccines for 102 crore people were given.
  • A Mission to eliminate Sickle-Cell Anaemia by 2047 will be established. There will be a screening of 7 crore people in the 0-40 years age group in affected tribal areas. 
  • A new programme for research in pharmaceuticals will be formulated and the industry will be encouraged to invest in research.
  • Facilities in select ICMR labs will be made available for research by public and private medical facilities
  • Dedicated multidisciplinary courses for medical devices will be supported in existing institutions to ensure the availability of skilled manpower for futuristic medical technologies, high-end manufacturing and research.
  • Leading industry players will partner in conducting inter-disciplinary research, and develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions in the areas of agriculture, health and sustainable cities.
  • Three Centres of Excellences of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be set up in top educational institutions, and leading industry players will partner in conducting interdisciplinary research, and develop cutting-edge applications and scalable problem solutions in the areas of health, agriculture and sustainable system.

Jobs on Board:

  • Allo Health is looking for a consultant doctor. Allo is India’s first digital health clinic for sexual well-being. It offers personalized healthcare and well-being treatments
  • Kindly is looking for a senior sales manager. Kindly is a holistic lifestyle wellness brand that combines technology with medical expertise to provide hormonal health solutions
  • Newmi is looking for an AVP-Offline Clinic. Newmi is India’s first women’s health lifecycle management platform
  • Elda Health is hiring React Developer Interns.Elda is a digital wellness platform that understands and stands for women.

Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Navneet Kaur and Jayant Pal Singh

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