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Funding News:

  • The Singapore-based start-up Blood has raised US$1.5m in funding to redefine period products and break down menstrual taboos. Founded by husband and wife Caleb Leow and Peck Ying Tan, Blood aims to design better solutions in the menstrual health space and remove the shame and stigma around menstruation.
  • German DTC startup Dr. Vivien Karl has secured €1.5M a combination of both existing investors and new ones. Notably, Dieter von Holtzbrinck Ventures (DvH Ventures) joins the funding round as the new lead investor, with Tina Müller, the former CEO of Douglas, a popular beauty retailer, coming onboard as a new angel investor.
  • Quinky, an Amsterdam-based sex tech startup has recently secured its first funding round, raising a total of €100K from Singapore-based startup accelerator, Antler. This funding round marks Antler’s inaugural investment into the European sex tech scene.
  • Mate Fertility which aims to make affordable, accessible and consistent fertility care has closed its $5.2M Series A round. 
  • Rosy Wellness, a startup focusing on women’s sexual health, recently announced securing $1.2M in a bridge funding round, bringing its total funding to $4.2 million. The company aims to fill the gap in resources and treatments available for the 43% of women who suffer from sexual health problems.

FemTech News:

  • Period poverty affects nearly 500 million individuals, particularly those in low-middle-income and low-income groups, due to limited access to safe and hygienic menstrual products. With an average menstrual span of 35 years, individuals require approximately 15,000-20,000 disposable sanitary pads or vaginal tampons during their lifetime. This means approximately 300 million women and transgender, non-binary individuals menstruate daily, amounting to a staggering 1.8 billion monthly. 
  • A groundbreaking study led by researchers at Columbia University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard has revealed that taking a daily multivitamin supplement can help slow down age-related memory decline. This discovery offers hope for older adults who are concerned about cognitive ageing.
  • Artificial intelligence could predict if an aggressive type of breast cancer will spread based on changes in a patient’s lymph nodes, researchers at King’s College London have found. The study, published has shown that by analysing the immune responses in the lymph nodes of women with triple-negative breast cancer, it is possible to tell how likely the disease is to spread to other parts of the body.
  • Women, especially millennial women, are feeling dismissed by healthcare providers at an alarming rate. This is according to a new report from a women’s health company that provides a personalized and lab-quality tracking system for reproductive health. 
  • Digital health not only improves access to healthcare services but also bolsters the overall infrastructure of rural healthcare. With the integration of telemedicine platforms, rural clinics, and healthcare centres can extend their reach, serving larger catchment areas with limited resources. 
  • Maternal care is not the same for all. Maternal healthcare includes antenatal care, care during delivery and postnatal care.The way women receive  maternal care is determined by socio-economic factors. Studies show that women from lower socio-economic background face challenges. 
  • Five subtypes of heart failure that could potentially be used to predict future risk for individual patients have been identified using artificial intelligence (AI) tools, according to a new study, led by an Indian-origin researcher.
  • Researchers use in vitro methods to evaluate the impact of products containing CBD and CBG on the most dominant vaginal lactobacilli species, L. crispatus, associated with good health. Given the rise of intimate care products marketed with CBD and the reported antimicrobial properties of cannabis, these scientists set out to learn if products like cannabis infused lube have any effect on a vaginal microbiome. Read more here.

Global News:

  • Aegon Life, digital India’s life insurance company, makes news strides by pioneering the first life insurance cover tailored for surrogate mothers and egg donors, effectively backing their financial well-being. The initiative supports the implementation of provisions in the Surrogacy (Regulation) Act, 2021, and the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Regulation) Act, 2021, spearheaded by India’s Ministry of Health & family welfare. Notably, the innovative coverage provides a life cover of three years for surrogate mothers and one a year for egg donors. 
  • Northern Ireland is to launch a new model of maternity care to improve communication between health professionals and expectant mums. The model aims to provide women with care from the same midwife or team of midwives during pregnancy, birth and the early parenting period, as well as obstetric and other specialist care.
  • The virtual clinic Hey Jane has become the first telemedicine abortion provider to accept insurance, marking a “huge step” towards expanding access to care. With the launch of multiple insurance providers, Hey Jane says it is working to expand coverage further to support more than half of abortion patients who said having to raise funds delayed their care.

FemTech India Partner Company News:

  • The Women’s Company collaborated with Sirohi to develop a range of corporate gifting care kits which are biodegradable and eco-friendly. 
  • Allo Health’s story was featured by Vikas Dandekar in The Economics Times – ET Prime issue. The story spoke of how digital healthcare startups are breaking the taboos in the Indian environment.
  • Sassiet Healthcare team led by Dr Nikita Dound has developed a handshake massager, a pleasure toy for men.
  • Mamma Miya was featured by Apple as one the “Greatest Apps for Mother’s Day 2023”

Drugs, Diagnostics, and Pharma:

  • Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (together with its subsidiaries and/or associated companies, “Sun Pharma”) and Philogen S.p.A announced that they have entered into a licensing agreement for commercializing Philogen’s speciality product, Nidlegy (Daromun) in the territories of Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Nidlegy, currently in phase III clinical trials, is a new anti-cancer biopharmaceutical which is being developed by Philogen for the treatment of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
  • Hoffmann-La Roche Limited (Roche Canada) announced that it has successfully completed negotiations with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) for Vabysmo (farcical injection), indicated for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular oedema (DME), two of the leading causes of vision loss among Canadians.
  • Zomato, the food ordering and delivery platform, has collaborated with Dial4242 to provide ambulance services and medical support through mobile medical units (MMUs) to delivery partners. With the MMU, the delivery partners associated with Zomato can get their free health checkups and eye testing done at convenient locations.

Government News:

  • The Government of Meghalaya, in collaboration with Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies (Terumo BCT), announced the launch of a comprehensive behavioural change campaign aimed at increasing voluntary blood donation in Ri-Bhoi district, an aspirational district in the State.The campaign was inaugurated by the health minister, who unveiled a dedicated number through which citizens of the district can give a “missed call” to register themselves as a voluntary blood donor. 
  • Max Healthcare Institute Limited, a leading healthcare provider in India, and Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-Delhi), a leading research institute in the field of information technology, have announced a strategic collaboration to advance healthcare research and education in India.

Research, Insights, and Market Projections:

  • Getting regular exercise such as cycling, walking, gardening, cleaning and participating in sports is associated with a lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease in women, according to a study. The research, published in the journal Neurology, found female participants who exercised the most had a 25 per cent lower rate of Parkinson’s disease when compared to those who exercised the least.
  • A new study has linked hypertension, brought about by high salt intake, with emotional and cognitive dysfunction. The study from Fujita Health University, Japan, found high salt intake to contribute to unwanted signalling between the blood pressure regulation system and certain lipid molecules, thereby causing dysfunction in the brain.
  • Researchers have found sleep medications commonly used to treat insomnia, or difficulty falling and remaining asleep, to significantly reduce rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behaviour disorder.The study findings suggested that these medications, known as dual orexin receptor antagonists, could also potentially cause fewer side effects.

Jobs on Board:

  • Gytree is looking for an E-Commerce Manager. Gytree is a women’s preventive health care solutions provider including gynaecology issues.
  • Elda Health is looking for a Technical Lead. Elda Health is a digital wellness platform that offers holistic mid-life and wellness solutions for women.
  • Allo is looking for a Business Development Executive. Allo is India’s first digital health clinic for sexual wellbeing.

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

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