FemTherapeutics, a Montreal-based medical technology company building the world’s first category of patient-specific gynecological prosthetics, announced today that it has raised $1.85 million USD to catalyze its next phase of growth.
The focus in gynecology has always been around fertility, and the healthcare sector often loses sight of mothers once the umbilical chord is cut; even though the consequences of pregnancy, labor, and delivery can be lifelong. The founders, Inara Lalani, Negin Ashouri, and Dr. Mihnea Gangal, were inspired to conceptualize FemTherapeutics after participating in the McGill Surgical Innovation Program. FemTherapeutics aims to bridge this gap by modernizing non-invasive treatment plans for a variety of pelvic health conditions, including Pelvic Floor Disorders, Preterm Labour, and more.
Gynecological prosthetics, also known as pessaries, are intravaginal devices that are inserted into the vagina to support the walls and related pelvic organs. While pessaries are one of the oldest medical devices, dating back to the Egyptians, pessary designs have remained closely tied to outdated medical practices and have undergone little evolution from their original food-inspired form. “The first reported pessaries were actual pomegranates. The current state-of-the art pessaries now look like mushrooms and doughnuts,” says Dr. Mihnea Gangal, CMO and Co-Founder of FemTherapeutics. Existing pessaries do not comfortably fit within the vaginal cavity. As a result, pessaries are reported to have a 50% failure rate within the first year. There is also a 30% fitting failure rate due to the subjective measurement process. “It’s time we move away from these primitive models and design smart devices that offer women the support they deserve.”, adds Dr. Mihnea Gangal.
“FemTherapeutics is revolutionizing the pelvic health market by bringing the tried-and-true business models of custom dental and orthotics, to the gynecology space.” said Inara Lalani, CEO and Co-Founder of FemTherapeutics. Similarly, the team has developed a tool that will allow physicians to obtain each patient’s vaginal measurements, and a data-driven platform that will recommend patient-specific designs. The devices are then 3D printed with biocompatible silicone to achieve flexible, yet complex geometrical structures that will provide dynamic support to the patients.
The company has achieved many breakthroughs since inception, with their most recent milestone being a successful feasibility study that fitted several patients with a custom-pessary. The team also recently joined the Mayo Clinic Platform_Accelerate program to further train their predictive models with high quality, de-identified clinical data. “We’re excited to be working with exceptionally skilled data scientists and clinicians,” adds Negin Ashouri, CTO and Co-Founder of FemTherapeutics.
“There is a lot to look forward to in the next few months that will be fueled by this round of investment. We’re thrilled to be partnering with high-caliber and impact-driven investors,” adds Inara Lalani. 2048 Ventures led the round with participation from Investissement Quebec, The51 Ventures, Sheboot, and several physicians and angel investors. The new funds will enable FemTherapeutics to further develop its platform and devices, kick off pivotal clinical studies, and expand its team, IP portfolio, and R&D efforts.
“Medicine is moving towards a much more personalized approach, including drug delivery, diagnostics, and – as FemTherapeutics envisions – through prosthetics. Given nearly 50% of women suffer from pelvic organ prolapse during their lifetime, we are excited by the impact FemTherapeutics can have on advancing women’s health.” said Neha Khera, General Partner at 2048 Ventures.
As part of the round, the team welcomes Alykhan Jamal to their board, a Senior Manager at Becton, Dickinson and Company that brings with him a wealth of industry experience, including developing and commercializing solutions for urological and urogynecological diseases. “The need for new solutions for pelvic organ prolapse is significant. The condition affects millions of women globally and traditional treatments have been limited in their effectiveness. FemTherapeutics is delivering meaningful innovation to the market by providing targeted therapies that are tailored to each patient’s individual needs.” said Alykhan Jamal.
Since inception, FemTherapeutics has raised a total of $3.2 million CAD including non-dilutive financing. The startup was recently named in CIX Canadian Innovation Exchange’s Top 20 Most Innovative Companies in Canada, and was awarded Innovations for Equity by WIN: Women in Innovation alongside Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Taygerly Labs.
About FemTherapeutics Inc.
FemTherapeutics is a Montreal-based medical device company with a mission to personalize pelvic medicine for women. The company has developed a data and intelligence platform that leverages artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and 3D printing to produce the world’s first category of patient-specific gynecological prosthetics. While FemTherapeutics’ first product is indicated to manage the symptoms of Pelvic Floor Disorders, it can later be extended to key areas like maternal health, oncology, menstrual, and sexual wellness.