The Israeli firm is utilizing algae to create a female-friendly remedy for atrophic vaginitis
Product: Revive gel
Raised: $1.76 million (Crowdfunding, angel traders)
Founders: Oded Bashan, Ronnie Klein
Headquarters: Rosh Pina
Scientists and pharmaceutical producers are trying towards nature greater than ever earlier than for derivatives to deal with illnesses. Female-run Algamed Therapeutics, an Israeli biotech startup, is a prime instance of that. Many ladies endure from atrophic vaginitis, or vaginal dryness, which may result in a number of well being issues together with yeast infections, ache during times or intercourse, and eventual atrophy of the tissue lining.
Algamed examined methods to ship natural-based compounds to that delicate space, and located a healthful ingredient to include in over-the-counter formulations: algae. “Algae is a single-cell organism that lives in extreme environments in beaches, lakes, and oceans. It is exposed to extreme sun, high saline content, and other dry conditions that are at risk of drying out, and yet it survives,” firm CEO Efrat Ramati instructed CTech in an interview. The plant additionally excretes a gel that retains it moist, and has quite a few anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and anti-aging advantages. Through use of its laboratory, Algamed determined to extract this gel from algae, and thought it will be appropriate to deal with feminine dryness.
Looking to the ocean for options
Algamed was based in 2014, and is based mostly within the northern city of Rosh Pina, close to the Sea of Galilee. “Algae,” defined Ramati, “is an ingredient that is really suitable for treating this area, since it’s a gentle and moist substance.” When devising the formulation, the corporate’s creators clearly had survivors of ovarian most cancers in thoughts, who’re prohibited from utilizing frequent options supplied in the marketplace which comprise hormones. “Non-hormonal treatments or natural treatments simply don’t exist.”
Algamed’s solution is termed Revive, and is a gel that was formulated and patented by Scientific Advisors Ronnie Klein and Dr. Tammy Meiron, and accommodates different substances, corresponding to xylinep, which is utilized in eye drops developed by scientists on the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. And it isn’t solely for survivors of ovarian or cervical cancers, Efrati famous, or for menopausal ladies. It can be utilized by ladies who can’t take hormonal dietary supplements, have diabetes, are breastfeeding, on contraception, or taking antidepressants.
The dryness situation has turn out to be a persistent downside, and after the age of 60, two out of three ladies endure from this situation. “That’s almost half of their adult life,” Ramati stated, explaining the way it can hinder ladies’s sexuality and relationships. Over the counter options aren’t appropriate for many causes, she defined. According to the WHO, most of those merchandise are too excessive in saline content material which causes the world to dry out extra, and whose pH is over the edge. “A natural vaginal pH is between 3.8-4.5, so anywhere over 5 or 6 can expose the area to harmful microbes that create yeast infections.” In addition, these lubricants comprise a artificial gelling agent, known as carbomer, which is a petroleum spinoff that will trigger irritation over time. “Most of the formulations on the market today were developed in the 1980s, but we’ve learned so much more since then. Algae has many therapeutic qualities, can soothe irritation, and has numerous antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits.”
A female-centered staff
Ramati joined the corporate three years in the past, alongside co-founders Klein and Oded Bashan (who based OTI which went public on Nasdaq), with Bashan at the moment serving because the controlling shareholder and lively chairman. So far, the femtech firm has raised a close to complete of NIS 5.5 million ($1.76 million) from angel traders and crowdfunding. Since 2021, the corporate has raised NIS 2.918 ($924,000) from non-public traders and thru a grant from the Israel Innovation Authority.
“Companies similar to ours have been acquired by larger biotech giants, such as Unilever, and Johnson & Johnson, so if we receive an offer we can’t say no, but currently we have no set date for doing an IPO,” Ramati commented, including that the corporate hopes to carry a larger fundraising spherical subsequent 12 months, and that its present valuation stands at NIS 20.4 million ($6.46 million). The want for femtech is rising, she stated. “This is a worldwide issue, and it isn’t unique to the Israeli market.”
Unlike different corporations, who attempt to include an equal share of men and women on their groups, Algamed ended up with solely feminine workers. “We prefer to have women on our team, since we believe that women understand this issue better. On the other hand, many men are new to this sector, and when they realize its importance they light up. This is a silent epidemic – the fact that there aren’t any normal solutions on the market is terrible, but we can solve that.”