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Global Funding and Grants:

  • Needed, a company specializing in science-based perinatal nutrition, has successfully completed a $14M funding round. This new capital infusion is set to expand Needed innovative product range, augment its educational content, and initiate Needed Labs, a new branch dedicated to clinical research and insights.
  • New York-based venture capital firm Black Opal Ventures (BOV) has launched a health-tech fund aimed at advancing the healthcare sector through technology. 

Global Companies:

  • Kenyan medical care chain Penda Health has made a strategic move to enhance its on-demand telehealth services by acquiring Swedish healthtech startup Grace Health. The acquisition marks a significant development in the African health space, as two prominent healthcare players join forces to expand their reach and impact.
  • Gynaecological health startup Daye is offering an at-home STI screening kit, adding another layer of innovation to its existing tampon-based vaginal microbiome screening service. This novel product aims to transform how individuals approach sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing by offering a discreet, comfortable, and efficient alternative to traditional methods.
  • Midi Health, a virtual clinic specializing in care for women experiencing perimenopause and menopause, has will be accessible to employers in all 50 US States starting January 2024.
  • Texas A&M University Health Science Center and Philips are collaborating to improve health outcomes for mothers, children and families. through personalized content, expert- written information, as well as interactive 3D models to track their baby’s development. 

FemTech News:

  • Women taking the oral contraceptive pill are less likely to report depression, researchers have found. The researchers suggested that taking the pill can remove concerns about unwanted pregnancy, therefore helping to improve the mental health of OCP users.
  • Ketamine can rapidly reduce symptoms of PTSD and depression, new study finds. Ketamine is an anesthetic that is sometimes used as a substance of abuse but is increasingly being explored as a treatment for a range of mental health conditions.
  • Now, a new study suggests that the HPV vaccine is most effective at preventing cervical cancer when it’s given to girls and boys, underscoring the importance of vaccinating both groups. The study found that giving girls and boys the HPV vaccine creates “herd immunity” against certain forms of HPV, which can help lower the risk that girls will develop cervical cancer.
  • Nike and Dove have partnered to launch body confident sport, a first of its kind set of tools for coaching girls and helping them build confidence over their bodies.
  • Synthetic hormones in oral contraceptive pills may be impairing fear-regulating processes in women’s brains, scientists have found in a study.The researchers from Canada-based universities investigated the short- and long-term effects of using combined oral contraceptives (COCs), which contain synthetic hormones, on fear-related brain regions and the neural circuitry which processes fear.
  • The first oral pill to treat postpartum depression is expected to be available in December. In August the Food and Drug Administration approved Zurzuvae (zuranolone), the first oral medication to treat postpartum depression. The approval is a big step for women with the condition, which affects approximately 1 in 7 new mothers.
  • Hormonal birth control can cause mood changes. Synthetic versions of the hormones estrogen and progesterone are contained in birth control. Some people taking birth control may experience mood changes, including depression, because these hormones affect brain function.
  • Syphilis cases in US newborns skyrocketed in 2022. Health officials suggest more testing. U.S. health officials are calling for stepped-up prevention measures, including encouraging millions of women of childbearing age and their partners to get tested for the sexually transmitted disease.
  • Integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into in vitro fertilization (IVF) process can offer several benefits, including improving success rates and making fertility treatments accessible and affordable. AI can enhance the success rates of IVF procedures by optimizing treatment plans and embryo selection. This means patients may require fewer cycles to achieve pregnancy, reducing overall costs. 
  • Scientists have developed a new generation of low-cost, flexible X-ray detectors with potential applications ranging from cancer treatment to better airport scanners. Traditionally, X-ray detectors are made of heavy, rigid material such as silicon or germanium.

FemTech India Partner Company News:

  • PeeSafe conducted a workshop at the Army Medical Corps Centre and College in Lucknow, which focused on menstrual hygiene and zero waste periods for a clean and green environment.
  • Ravi Teja Adondi, CEO of iMumz hosted “The Pregnancy Podcast” featuring Dr. Jahnavi N and covered topics including C-section rates in India, and about birthing options.
  • Sanjana Rao, co-founder of Miyara has been onboarded as part of the #GRITCohort2023 which is focused on female founders.
  • Dr. Gita Banerjee, founder of Fertility Dost has released her book on “How to get pregnant with IVF”.

Drugs, Diagnostics, and Pharma:

  • Fujifilm India launches on-ground breast cancer screening and awareness campaign on National Cancer Awareness Day
  • Qiagen, a provider of sample and assay technologies for molecular diagnostics, applied testing, academic and pharmaceutical research, and Element Biosciences, Inc., a multi-disciplinary life science company, announced a strategic partnership to offer comprehensive next-generation sequencing (NGS) workflows for the Element AVITI System, an innovative sequencing platform.
  • oCina Pty Ltd., a global end-to-end biologics CDMO, announced the expansion of their partnership with GPN Vaccines Ltd.

Government News:

  • The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) is now increasingly looking at providing comprehensive attention to related organ impact even as it strengthens its neuro critical care services.
  • The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has initiated efforts to set up a Digital Drugs Regulatory System (DDRS) as a unified digital ecosystem as a single window, single sign on and unified portal for all regulatory activities.
  • Delhi Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research University (DPSRU), and Akums Drugs & Pharmaceuticals Limited (Akums), have embarked on a collaborative journey to research on specific therapy-gaps and introduce novel products for Indian patients.

Research, Insights, and Market Projections:

  • A new artificial intelligence (AI) model may be able to tell a person has type 2 diabetes with just short clips of the person’s voice. The researchers say that people who have diabetes can develop diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage, which can affect their vocal function, potentially leading to changes in the pitch and strength of their voice.
  • Researchers have discovered a concerning association between frequent salt consumption and an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. The study, conducted by Tulane University, found that individuals who regularly added salt to their meals had a staggering 39 percent higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, compared to those who rarely or never used salt.

Jobs on Board:

  • iMumz is looking for a Head – Engineering. iMumz is platform for Indian pregnant women. 
  • Rocket Health is looking for a Customer Success Associate. Rocket Health is a platform which provides healthcare for mental and sexual health.
  • PeeSafe is looking for an E-Commerce Associate. PeeSafe is wellness and fitness services company which is behind iconic products such as The Toilet Seat Sanitizer Spray.

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

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