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India Funding:

  • HempStreet, a FemTech India ecosystem company,  has raised $1 Mn in its pre-Series A funding round led by existing investor Carl Waahlin of Waahlin Holdings. HempStreet is a Cannabis-focused healthtech startup, which was founded by Abhishek Mohan.
  • Sassiest, a leading Femtech India ecosystem company, has secured a significant Pre-Series funding round led by Raj Armani, co-founder of IMbesharam. This innovative sexual health startup is driven by the visionary trio of Aishwarya Dua (CEO), Karishma Chavan (CBO), and Dr. Nikita Dound (CHO)

Global Funding and Grants:

  • The US nutrition company Needed has secured US$14m in funding to improve perinatal outcomes. Needed develops nutritional supplements for women in the perinatal stage. Since launching in 2021, the start-up has expanded its product offering to cover a range of issues, including egg and sperm quality, lactation, stress, sleep and hydration.
  • MiMARK Diagnostics, a company specializing in women’s health, has completed its first seed funding round, raising €4.22M. The funds are intended to advance their work in gynecological diagnostics, focusing on the use of gynecological fluids as a non-invasive source for biomarker detection. 

Global Companies:

  • The US maternal health platform Mother Goose has announced a partnership with the online psychiatric care platform SohoMD in an effort to tackle poor perinatal mental health.
  • The California-based company Movano Health has officially launched its smart health tracking ring for women. According to the developers, Evie is an intelligent device that provides users with medical grade health data translated into “personalized insights” on an app.
  • The US digital health platform Ovia Health is to introduce its first fertility and family-building benefits programme in an effort to better support employees. The new offerings would allow employers and health plans to design plan benefits and assistance packages based on their specific goals and budgets.

FemTech News:

  • A team of UK researchers have redesigned the needle used in IVF procedures in a bid to boost success rates. During IVF, eggs are taken from a woman’s ovaries and fertilised with sperm in a lab. Once fertilised, the egg becomes an embryo – which is then inserted into the womb to grow. Gathering oocytes is invasive and expensive and, according to computer models, current techniques successfully collect only 60 percent of available oocytes. The more oocytes that can be harvested, the more chance of a successful pregnancy.
  • A new AI model developed using mammogram image biomarkers could accurately predict both invasive and non-invasive forms of breast cancer without racial bias, new research has shown. The findings have suggested the model showed no bias across multiple races. Traditional breast cancer risk assessment models use information obtained from patient questionnaires, such as medical and reproductive history, to calculate a patient’s future risk of developing breast cancer
  • A team of researchers have developed a non-invasive genetic test that can screen the blood of pregnant women to survey all genes for fetal DNA sequence variants. The research team evaluated the test by examining blood samples from 51 pregnant women and found the test was able to capture variants that were inherited from the mother as well as new variants that were not present in the mother and associated with prenatal diagnosis.
  • Women going through perimenopause need better education and support about how their periods might change towards the end of their reproductive life, a new study led by UCL researchers has concluded. The research highlighted how, as women approach the menopause, their periods may become unpredictable, heavy and cause worse premenstrual symptoms, including mood swings, breast tenderness and headaches.
  • The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority has set out recommendations to modernise the UK’s 33-year-old fertility law. The proposals made by the UK-wide regulator of fertility treatment and embryo research aim to “future-proof” the law, so it better reflects the significant changes in the size and structure of the fertility sector, in attitudes to fertility treatment and in medical and scientific developments.
  • Healthcare organisations looking to harness the power of generative AI should start with a focused strategy of forming cross-functional teams to identify high-value applications, investing in robust data management tools to leverage large datasets.

FemTech India Partner Company News:

  • Sirona was a part of the GMR D2C Fest at the GMR Aerocity, Delhi where it engaged with users and told them about the innovation solutions in the feminine space
  • PeeSafe has an on-site awareness session at Army Public School, Srinagar and delved into topic – Puberty and Period which was led by a menstrual educator
  • Newmi Care Campus Program which aims to empower and educate girls on crucial health topics started off with Jamia Millia Islamia University
  • AlloCare’s HR Initiative – AlloCare Program is now featuring on three new pillars including Healthcare Insurance, Employee Engagement, and Education and Awareness.

Drugs, Diagnostics, and Pharma:

  • Hurdle, a pioneer in diagnostic testing, and the Consumer Health division of Bayer have launched a strategic partnership to advance consumer innovations in the emerging area of healthy aging. The partnership is designed to enhance the companies’ shared ambition to transform self-care through personalized solutions.
  • Boehringer Ingelheim and IBM announced an agreement that will enable Boehringer to use IBM’s foundation model technologies to discover novel candidate antibodies for the development of efficient therapeutics.
  • Meril Life Sciences has signed an agreement with Japan’s leading cardiovascular medtech company, Japan Lifeline. This strategic alliance grants Japan Lifeline exclusive rights to promote Meril’s transcatheter heart valve, Myval Octacor, upon PMDA approval in Japan.

Government News:

  • With the government emphasising on bringing in a digital platform for drug regulation and enforcement for transparency and prevention of corruption, the central drug regulator is looking into preparing Standard Operating Procedures(SOPs) for videography of the procedures related to sampling and testing to ensure transparency.
  • Karnataka is gearing up to strengthen innovation in biotech by fostering entrepreneurship and attracting investments. The state has worked to provide the right set of policies and robust infrastructure across industries and sectors.
  • All states need to provide data on vaccine manufacturing and sales to the central drug regulator in order to meet the requirements of the expected global benchmarking of vaccines by the World Health Organization (WHO), said the advisory body Drugs Consultative Committee (DCC).

Research, Insights, and Market Projections:

  • The first global trial of an artificial intelligence (AI) tool that can predict 10-year risk of deadly heart attacks has shown that in about 45 percent of patients with chest pain, treatment could be improved, and the lives of thousands not yet identified but at risk for heart attacks could be saved.
  • Experts have discovered how three unique genes cause neurodevelopmental problems. Researchers now have a greater understanding of the genes’ involvement in human brain development and function, as well as their potential to act as therapeutic targets in the future. The Journal of Clinical Investigation just published the findings online.

Jobs on Board:

  • Rocket Health is looking for a Marketing Associate. Rocket Health is a platform which provides healthcare for mental and sexual health.
  • Allo Health is looking for a Content Writer. Allo Health is a digital health clinic which has launched India’s first sexual wellbeing program

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

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