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Global Funding, Investments, and Grants:

  • The Polish AI fertility start-up MIM Fertility has raised US$2m in funding in a bid to boost IVF success rates. MIM Fertility, a spin-off of the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics of the University of Warsaw, uses machine learning and deep learning algorithms to develop new reproductive medicine solutions.
  • Hey Freya, a Portland startup providing a range of women’s wellness products, has raised $500,000 in an angel round of funding. The round was led by investors, individuals and family companies who align with Hey Freya’s mission, including the Goddess Fund.
  • The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) has allocated $80.5 million in funding for 4 patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies targeting maternal morbidity and mortality. These studies, part of a broader initiative involving 30 projects, focus on both health care and social determinants, particularly in populations facing maternal health disparities.

Global Companies:

  • The US reproductive technology start-up Orchid has launched a genetic test that could help detect genetic errors linked to severe diseases before an IVF pregnancy begins. Orchid has developed the first commercially available whole genome sequencing report for embryos to help couples undergoing IVF mitigate  genetic risks in their future babies.
  • The US women’s health start-up Oova has launched an at-home hormone kit to support women during perimenopause. The kit, which tests multi-hormone biomarkers including oestrogen (E3G), comes with an app that tracks woman’s data in real time.
  • Cercle, a San Francisco AI start-up focused on advancing women’s healthcare, has launched out of stealth. Cercle aims to harmonise and transform “the raw and fragmented” medical data into accurate insights that help improve patient outcomes.

FemTech News:

  • Goa has made history by becoming the first Indian state to offer free IVF treatment, assisted reproductive technology (ART), and intrauterine insemination (IUI) services. The launch of these services took place at Goa Medical College (GMC), Bambolim. Around 100 parents have already registered for the IVF facility at the GMC’s super-speciality block
  • Starting to menstruate before turning 13 years old is linked to a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes in mid-life, US research published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Nutrition Prevention & Health has found. Further, having periods early in life, especially before 10 years of age, is also associated with an increased risk of getting a stroke before the age of 65 in those having diabetes, researchers found after analysing data of more than 17,000 women aged between 20 and 65.
  • New non-invasive, light-based techniques could be used to diagnose health-related concerns, including menopause and glaucoma. Researchers Samantha Grist from the University of British Columbia and Fernando Zvietcovich from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru have proposed two separate light-based techniques to address the challenges in diagnosing menopause and glaucoma, a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve.
  • Treating cervical cancer patients with already existing drugs prior to the standard treatment of chemoradiation (CRT) was found to reduce cancer recurrence and mortality by 35 per cent, according to a new clinical trial. Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, affecting more than six lakh women each year
  • Preeclampsia, a condition that affects up to 10 percent of pregnancies worldwide, could be linked to cellular stress in the placenta, new research has shown. The study, conducted by researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) and published in the Science Advances journal, investigated the hypothesis that an abnormal amount of cellular and molecular stresses to a particular layer of cells of the placenta is associated with preeclampsia.
  • A study published in Nature Nanotechnology has introduced a new wearable biosensor for monitoring fertility hormones, notably oestradiol, in human sweat. This device, resembling a ring and worn on the finger, offers a non-invasive alternative to traditional blood tests for hormone monitoring. 
  • Scientists at the University of Oxford have made a breakthrough in vaccine administration with the use of ultrasound, providing a needle-free and painless method of delivery. This ultrasound technique marks a major step forward in painless and efficient vaccine delivery, offering hope for a future where vaccinations can be administered without the anxiety and discomfort associated with needles.
  • Pharma giant Bayer has partnered with the California-based women’s health company CrossBay Medical to develop a “novel” intrauterine system inserter. The partnership is thought to have the potential to improve the intrauterine placement experience by limiting and reducing the discomfort women may experience during IUD insertion.
  • 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.

FemTech India Partner Company News:

  • PeeSafe has been honoured with the CMPL Disruptor Award in the Personal Care and Hygiene Category.
  • Sirona, along with Suryoday Foundation empowered domestic help workers in the urban slums of Mumbai through menstrual cup training and by providing menstrual cup supply.
  • Tamanna Singh of Menoveda was spotlighted by Miror Wellness for her work in the menstrual and menopause care space.
  • Carina Kohli – founder Humm Care and Navneet Kaur – Founder FemTech India were featured in Women of Wearable’s list of inspiring trailblazers in Women’s Health and FemTech 2023.
  • Niramai AI is a part of the Global Bio India 2023, Organized by DBT, Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India.

Drugs, Diagnostics, and Pharma:

  • Lupin announced that it has received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Abbreviated New Drug Application for varenicline tablets, 0.5 mg and 1 mg, to market a generic equivalent of Chantix tablets, 0.5 mg and 1 mg, of PF Prism C.V. The product will be manufactured at Lupin’s Pithampur facility in India.
  • Indoco Remedies Ltd. announced the receipt of tentative US FDA approval for Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for canagliflozin tablets 100 mg and 300 mg, a generic equivalent of the Reference Listed Drug, Invokana tablets 100 mg and 300 mg, of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Government News:

  • Union government is all set to unveil the bio manufacturing policy in an effort to give impetus to set up bio-foundries across the country. The key objective is to develop a robust domestic bio manufacturing ecosystem. India is among the leading destinations for bio innovation and bio-manufacturing which are critical components for India to become a US$ 5 trillion economy by 2024.
  • The National Commission for Indian System of Medicine (NCISM) has notified the regulation to set standards for medical research in the Indian System of Medicine (ISM) including provisions to address research misconduct, non compliance or violation of mandatory guidelines.

Research, Insights, and Market Projections:

  • Scientists at Queen Mary University of London and ISI Foundation in Turin, Italy, have discovered a fascinating connection between an individual’s musical preferences and their moral values. This research sheds light on the powerful influence that music can have on shaping our moral compass.
  • Queensland University researchers have discovered that being overweight can hinder the body’s ability to produce antibodies in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, this impairment does not affect the protective effects of COVID-19 vaccination.

Jobs on Board:

  • Rocket Health is looking for a Customer Success Associate. Rocket Health is a platform which provides healthcare for mental and sexual health.
  • Niramai AI is looking for a Business Development Executive. Niramai is a non-contact privacy-aware breast cancer screening provider.
  • Allo Health is looking for a Pharmaceutical Consultant. 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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