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India Funding News:

  • Delhi based-healthcare startup, Varco Leg Care raised an undisclosed amount in the seed round led by Neeraj Garg, ex-CEO, Hindustan Coca-Cola, Dr Mohit Lalvani Mascot Spincontrol India, Simple Juneja, global business leader, ex- Coca-Cola, Bacardi, LVMH and other.

  • EarKart, a hearing aid technology firm, has secured an undisclosed amount in a funding round led by Agility Ventures. The fresh funding round also saw participation from other investors, including Blume Ventures. Ashneer Grover, former CEO of BhartPe, is the first lead angel investor in the company.

Global Funding:

  • Kallyope Receives $8.3M from the Gates Foundation to Identify Novel Interventions for Undernourished Infants and Pregnant Women. Kallyope is a clinical stage biotechnology company that is leveraging its proprietary Klarity therapeutic platform to discover and develop novel, oral small-molecule therapeutics in areas with high unmet medical need, including diabetes and obesity, gastrointestinal disease, and neurological disorders.
  • Canadian medical device company FemTherapeutics has raised US$1.85m to help women struggling with pelvic health conditions. The Montreal-based start-up has developed the world’s first category of “patient-specific” gynaecological prosthetics to help women manage symptoms of conditions, such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence.

  • Berlin-based period tracker and reproductive health companion Clue has set a new record for female investor participation in its latest crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. The campaign, which is still open until May 11, had already achieved its target of €1M on May 3, ahead of schedule. With over 4,950 investors participating, this is the highest number of investors on Crowdcube so far in 2023.

FemTech News:

  • More than half of women turn to Google for menstrual  health concerns, says report. Younger women aged 18–34 were the most likely to turn to online resources, a new UK survey has shown. More than half of women in the UK rely on search engines for their information about menstrual health, a new report has found, highlighting “prominent” gaps in the knowledge women have about their own bodies. Read more here.
  • The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new type of drug to treat hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause. Veozah, an oral medication for the treatment of moderate to severe severe vasomotor symptoms caused by menopause, is the first neurokinin 3 (NK3) receptor antagonist approved by the FDA to treat moderate to severe hot flashes from menopause. It works by binding to and blocking the activities of the NK3 receptor, which plays a role in the brain’s regulation of body temperature.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a new guideline on non-sugar sweeteners (NSS), which recommends against the use of NSS to control body weight or reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The recommendation is based on the findings of a systematic review of the available evidence which suggests that use of NSS does not confer any long-term benefit in reducing body fat in adults or children. Results of the review also suggest that there may be potential undesirable effects from long-term use of NSS, such as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and mortality in adults. Read more here.
  • Even After Pandemic, Cancer Patients Prefer Telemedicine Care. Almost 76% of cancer patients were highly satisfied with their access to their doctors via televisits, compared with about 63% of those who saw their doctors in person. About 91% of people who saw their doctor virtually were highly satisfied with the response and amount of concern their doctor expressed. By contrast, just over 84% of people who saw their doctor in person felt this way. Read more here.
  • Over one hundred health programs and digital health applications have been integrated with Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission. The National Health Authority under its flagship scheme Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission is rapidly expanding the digital healthcare delivery ecosystem with successful integrations of health programs. These include eSushrut, eSanjeevani, ESIC, Haryana e-Upchaar, ANM Andhra Pradesh Health, and other healthcare solutions from the Government sector along with 33 health apps from private sector innovators.
  • AI could improve heart attack diagnosis. An algorithm developed using artificial intelligence could soon be used by doctors to diagnose heart attacks with better speed and accuracy than ever before, according to new research from the University of Edinburgh. Read more here.

Global Companies:

  • Menopause Platform Gennev Partners with LifeStance to Expand Its Mental Health Offering. Gennev is now partnering with LifeStance, a mental healthcare provider that offers integrated in-person and virtual services. Goal of the partnership is to better integrate physical and mental healthcare to enhance menopause patient outcomes.
  • InsideTracker, a personal health analysis and data-driven wellness guide that helps people increase their healthspan and live healthier longer, announced that the company’s popular Ultimate Plan will now provide female users with analysis and optimization guidance for three new biomarkers pivotal to increasing women’s healthspan and navigating menopause.
  • Fertility Startup Alife Releases Its First B2C Product: An IVF App for Patients. The company is launching its first patient-facing innovation, a mobile application with the goal to help patients navigate their IVF journey from beginning to end.
  • Amara Therapeutics, a medical technology start-up based in Ireland, has introduced BladderBoss as its latest product. BladderBoss is an 8-week program that combines CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) , bladder training and pelvic health pilates to assist women in managing their overactive bladder (OAB).
  • A Spanish app is set to become the Netflix of medical education with a new approach to clinical training. Xpeer is an app that aims to make medical education easy, cheap and accessible through bite-sized videos, audios and podcasts, allowing healthcare professionals to stay up-to-date with the latest medical advances.

FemTech India Partner Company News:

  • Allo Health Startup Launches India’s First Dedicated Clinical Space for Sexual Health in New Delhi and Bengaluru
  • Swarnima Bhattacharya, Chief Product Officer of Gytree hosted the inaugural edition of Gytree Dialogues featuring Dr Sugeshna Ray on the gaps that exist in the medical treatment of women.
  • Noureen Aysha and Naseef Nazar founders of FemiSafe were featured in the TiE Kerala Story Sessions, which was held in Innerspace Coworking, Edappally.
  • Aishwarya Dua founder of Sassiest and Aditi Mittal founder of Newmi together are hosting an Live Stream on the topic – Discovering Self-Pleasure

Drugs, Diagnostics, and Pharma:

  • Pharmaceutical exports from the country have started the fiscal year 2023-24 with a positive note registering a growth of 10.45 per cent in April, as compared to the exports during the same month of last year. According to data from the Union ministry of commerce and industry, the exports of drugs and pharmaceuticals during April, 2023 was at around $2.28 billion, as compared to around $2.07 billion in the same month of previous year. Interestingly, the growth in April, 2022 as compared to the approximately $1.9 billion exports reported in April, 2021, was also close to 10 per cent.
  • Pristyn Care, a leading healthcare provider in India, has introduced AI and ML-enabled enhanced electronic medical record (EMR) system designed especially for surgeons. The EMR developed by Pristyn Care’s technology team has also leveraged advanced predictive analytics to provide valuable patient insights, enabling doctors to identify high-risk patients more effectively.
  • To drive the message of educating nurses on antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) and Infection Prevention Control (IPC), Pfizer India, in collaboration with Trained Nurses Association (TNAI) and Americares India Foundation recently conducted a day-long workshop on the occasion of International Nurses Day.

Government News:

  • The Union Ministry of Ayush has submitted in the Delhi High Court that it has instructed the licensing authority for the Ayush systems of medicines in all the States and Union Territories that they should ensure that the labelling and naming of the products for the Ayurvedic and Unani drugs should be as per the provisions. The submission was particularly on the naming of almond oil in Ayurveda and Unani drugs.
  • The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI), in association with the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD), will shortly introduce a programme of pharmacy practical training (PPT) for the students of diploma course (D Pharm), as part of their curriculum. This pharmacy in-house-training will be conducted under the supervision of expert pharmacy professionals who will be selected for training purpose by PCI and AIOCD together. The trainer pharmacists will be educated by the PCI on how to train the diploma students and their pharmacies must fulfill all the parameters put by the council.
  • Union minister of health & family welfare, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya has said that the Indian medical devices industry has the power to emerge as the global leader in manufacturing and innovation in the next 25 years. He invited the Japanese medical devices industry to explore the opportunities of Make in India by setting up facilities in the country.

Research, Insights, and Market Projections:

  • New research suggests that sleep apnea and reduced deep sleep are associated with the development of brain biomarkers linked to an increased risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive decline. While the study does not establish a causal relationship between sleep disturbances and brain changes, it highlights an important connection. The findings have been published in the journal Neurology.
  • Sixty-five percent of 500 doctor-mothers surveyed in key metropolitan and Tier-2 cities experience burnout while striving to balance their personal and professional lives, a new study has found. The study, conducted by Gurugram-based Pristyn Care and Lybrate Data, said 41 per cent of the doctor-moms have experienced workplace discrimination for “being a doctor and a mother”.
  • Researchers have uncovered the molecular mechanisms in young children’s brains underlying the change from general “gist”-like memories to specific episodic memories tied to a context as they age, through a study conducted in mice. They said that this change, generally occurring between four and six years old in children, could help inform child development research and conditions affecting their brain such as autism spectrum disorder to concussion.

Jobs on Board:

  • Allo is looking for a Business Development Representative. Allo is India’s first digital health clinic for sexual wellbeing.
  • Elda Health is looking for an SEO Intern. Elda is a digital wellness platform for women.

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