Our Investment in FemTherapeutics
FemTherapeutics is personalizing medicine for women using custom gynecological prosthetics.
We are thrilled to announce our investment in Montreal-based FemTherapeutics, which provides personalized medicine for women through custom gynecological prosthetics. They are starting with custom pessaries for pelvic organ prolapse.
What exactly is Pelvic Organ Prolapse?
1 in 2 women will suffer from pelvic organ prolapse (POP) in their lifetime. POP occurs when the pelvic organs, such as the bladder, uterus, or rectum, descend into the vaginal canal. This happens when the muscles and tissues that support the pelvic organs become weak, stretched, or damaged, and can no longer hold the organs in place. The leading causes of this are vaginal childbirth or aging. Symptoms include discomfort in the vagina, vaginal bulging, pelvic pressure, leakage of urine, and bowel problems — all of which affect a woman’s quality of life drastically.
Despite the wide prevalence of POP, existing solutions often don’t meet the needs of affected women. Pelvic Floor Muscle Therapy is not sufficient to treat more severe cases of POP (such as Stage 2 and beyond). For those with more severe cases, surgery is often not an option. Many patients (including elderly women, who are most impacted) have additional risks and morbidities related to invasive surgery.
As a result, pessaries are the most common treatment used today. Pessaries are devices that are inserted into the vagina to support the pelvic organs. There are hundreds of different SKUs of pessaries on the market of different shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, many of these pessaries fail due to poor design and fit.
Fittings often require multiple weeks of trial and error, whereby a physician trials a size to see if the pessary will remain in place or become dislodged over time, repeating this process if the pessary does not work. Also, these pessaries often cause sores or abrasions due to their rigid design and standard sizing. Overall, over 50% of pessary users will discontinue use due to complications.
The FemTherapeutics Story
While participating in the McGill Surgical Innovation Program, Inara (CEO) and Negin (CTO) saw this problem first hand while shadowing urogynecologist Dr. Mik Gangal (CMO) at the hospital They were alarmed by the rate at which pessaries failed and didn’t understand why a better pessary wasn’t on the market.
Together, the team developed their own method for pessary creation, leveraging novel AI and 3D printing to create a novel patented device that is also personalized to each woman’s body. The result of this novel design and custom fit is a more comfortable prosthetic that provides dynamic support to the patient and reduces the risk of injuries or coming loose.
Moreover, FemTherapeutics is innovating on both the pessary measurement and insertion process. Ideally they want to enable patients to manage their POP at home, while introducing no new workflows or tools for OBGYNs and urogynecologist to have to adopt.
Personalized Medicine and Prosthetics
We believe that the future of medicine is personalized. Advancements in imaging, AI, 3D printing and efficient delivery networks make it possible to provide personalized prosthetics in record time and with minimal costs. These prosthetics will be adapted to meet the needs of individual patients rather than trying to make treatments for the average patient work for everyone.
We are excited by the advancements that FemTherpeutics is making in women’s health, starting with pessaries and expanding into stents and menstrual cups, amongst other things. A shout out to the folks at Investment Quebec, The 51 Ventures, Sheboot, and several physicians and angel investors who participated alongside us in FemTherapeutics CAD $2.5M round.
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