Let’s talk about Women’s Health

Team of women celebrating with raised hands

Women are generally known to suffer from more acute and chronic symptoms and use health services more frequently than men. Recent research highlights significant knowledge gaps in the field of women’s health.

 

“Despite medical advances in healthcare over the past decades, societ­ies are still failing women at key moments in their lives. Too many girls and women are still unable to reach their full potential because of health problems, gender inequalities, and inadequacies in the health system.”

-Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General WHO


In presenting the start-ups below, Hemex hopes to stimulate dialogue and draw attention to the innovative strategies our portfolio companies have developed. These ground-breaking solutions could lead to real improvements in women’s health around the world.

 

MOMM Diagnostics logoMOMM Diagnostics

MOMM Diagnostics is developing a new technology for the early detection of preeclampsia (PE). PE is a life-threatening pregnancy complication that can have devastating effects on the health of the mother and the baby. Every year, there are 75’000 maternal and 500’000 infant deaths because of preeclampsia. It is also a huge economic burden and a rapidly progressive condition. Therefore, early recognition of symptoms could save lives. MOMM Diagnostics is developing a fast and precise test that provides diagnostic certainty, and at the same time reduces healthcare costs. This new technology provides a novel solution to identify preeclampsia, quantifying low-abundant biomarkers from a single drop of blood.

 

Aspivix

Aspivix is developing the next-generation surgical instrument for gentle and modern gynecological procedures. The Intra-Uterine device (IUD) is one of the most cost-effective reversible contraception techniques, but the Tenaculum that is used in this procedure (to grasp and pull the cervix) is very painful and can cause bleeding, lesions, and infections. With Aspivix’s instrument, a gentle vacuum suction-pad is applied on the cervix to steady it during gynecological procedures. The pain is minimized, there is no bleeding, the risk of cross-contamination is eliminated and the whole experience is less traumatic. Moreover, an Aspivix survey showed that 95% of physicians would like a better device to significantly reduce their time and the costs associated with IUD insertion.

 

Inura Medical AG logoInura

Inura Medical is developing an innovative urethral suppository for women with Overactive Bladder syndrome (OAB). This highly prevalent and disabling health disorder has a huge impact on the quality of life of 20% of the female population. For instance, sleep deprivation, fatigue, nocturia, or memory lapses. Unfortunately, around 70-90% of the patients discontinue the available treatments because of their side effects. Inura Medical’s new, patented design suppository facilitates the effective penetration of drugs through the urethral mucosal lining. This new route of administration has greater therapeutic efficacy and there are fewer side effects. Moreover, Inura Medical’s technology will reduce healthcare costs related to the treatment of OAB. Thanks to its partnership with HEMEX, Inura can complete an entire development program until Phase 3 in which the effects of the oral and urethral administration of the drug will be compared.

 

Hemex believes that protecting and promoting women’s health for future generations is very important. We will continue supporting start-ups who have formidable value and innovative ideas. There are many ways you can show your support in the global effort to improve women’s health. If you are someone who is passionate about making a difference and pushing scientific discoveries in women’s health, help us spread the word! If you are an investor interested in the above ideas and products, please contact us!

 

About HEMEX

HEMEX AG is a privately-owned Swiss investment and consulting company headquartered close to the Basel global life sciences hub, with its main focus to bring innovative drugs, medical devices, and in vitro diagnostics to the market. HEMEX specializes in supporting early-stage start-ups, offering tailored solutions to accelerate projects into successful and sustainable businesses. Additionally, HEMEX helps and supports start-ups find non-dilutive and dilutive funding. More at HEMEX

The Weaker Sex?

Portraits of successful women in science

Hemex is particularly inspired by the hard-working women who push boundaries to create innovative healthcare solutions. Dedicated and powerful female leaders enrich the diversity of our Swiss start-up portfolio. Today, we would like to introduce five remarkable female role models to you.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur / leader is not easy, especially for women. Two common challenges female leaders face in the academic and scientific world are sometimes referred to as the “glass ceiling” (the invisible barrier that keeps women from rising) and the “leaky pipeline” phenomenon (the way that women disappear from some career pathways).

The process of building a new company from scratch is challenging, yet incredibly rewarding when dreams materialize, and new discoveries improve the lives of people around the world. Research shows that companies that embrace team gender diversity are stronger and more efficient at tackling external and internal challenges. Therefore, we have decided to dedicate this post to our fast-growing list of impressive female leaders in our portfolio companies.

 

Iselin Frøybu

Iselin is Co-founder and COO at EMOVO CARE. She is a hardware engineer who studied Mechanical Engineering at Penn State University and has a Master’s degree from EPFL. Iselin turned into a business developer with a passion for developing meaningful technologies. She says that the question is no longer whether we can make something, but rather whether we should. She also likes to fight stereotypes and entropy. Iselin is an inspiring woman, who has played a crucial role in the company’s success. Her work never ceases to amaze us. With Emovo Care, Iselin is on a mission to significantly improve quality of life for stroke survivors.

 

Özge Karakas

Özge is Co-Founder and COO at Hi-D IMAGING. She is an experienced scientist, entrepreneur, and a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich. Özge has over 10 years of experience in thermodynamics and fluid dynamic models. On top of this, she has completed a minor degree in Computer Science and Engineering. Özge has been instrumental in the company’s creation, writing the business plan and managing company finances.

 


Ronja Bruhn

Ronja is CEO and Co-Founder of STIMIT. She is a medical engineer with an MBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. With 12 years of experience in R&D industry projects and an EMEA product launch, Ronja has impressive experience when it comes to bringing healthcare products to market. Her hard work has demonstrated that STIMIT provides added clinical benefits to patients. With STIMIT, Ronja works on a noninvasive solution for patients lacking natural breathing function. STIMIT’s vision is to empower sedated ICU patients to breathe, creating natural breath instead of pumping air into the lungs.

 

Danuta Cichocka

Danuta is the CEO and Co-Founder of RESISTELL. She is a microbiologist passionately driven by life science, innovation, and self-development. She finished her PhD at the UFZ Leipzig, completed the Executive MBA program at EPFL, and obtained a CAS in Management of Biotech, Medtech & Pharma Ventures. Her key strength is being able to bridge the gap between research and business. Her ability to translate a complex problem into manageable challenges is admirable. Being able to not only see the big picture but knowing how to communicate it is a valuable strength that we truly appreciate at Hemex. With Resistell, Danuta works on the world’s fastest antibiogram to save lives by finding the right antibiotic in time and combat antibiotic resistance.

 

Marija Plodinec

Marija is CEO and Co-Founder of ARTIDIS. She believes in the potential of their technology to transform a cancer patient’s journey (and so do we at HEMEX). Marija studied physics at the University of Zagreb and completed her doctorate from the Maurice Müller Institute at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. She is also a member of several international organizations and a Senior Principal Scientist at the University Hospital Basel. She is an energic source of inspiration in the field of physical sciences in oncology. At Artidis, Marija is dedicated to developing a rapid diagnostic technique to detect cancer.

 

Still think women are the “Weaker Sex”? Think again and embrace diversity – as we do here at Hemex!