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Femtech start-up launches first virtual endometriosis centre

ELANZA Wellness aims to transform the quality of life for millions of women living with endometriosis



ELANZA Wellness founders Brittany Hawkins and Catherine Hendy

Chronic care start-up ELANZA Wellness has launched the first virtual endometriosis centre to help women and assigned female at birth individuals better manage their symptoms from home.

EverythingEndo aims to provide patients with a personalised symptom management plan that combines scientific research, individual data and specialist support.

Members can get medications online, learn about different treatments, meet with specialist care providers and access therapeutic interventions and education virtually. 

The female-founded start-up developed the platform in collaboration with endometriosis patients, gynaecologists, advocates and holistic health providers to help people access knowledge, resources, specialised support and treatment options from the comfort of their own homes.

“People with endometriosis need better support and faster access to effective interventions,” said co-founder and CEO of ELANZA Wellness, Brittany Hawkins.

“For too long the majority of people have had their symptoms dismissed or normalised and over 70 per cent of sufferers are now left with unmanaged pain.

“It’s our aim to change that, layering data insights with specialist, compassionate care designed to take into account the mind and body.”

Hawkins’ co-founder, Catherine Hendy, said: “Endometriosis is so complex that everyone’s journey is different. We provide a supportive space for anyone looking for effective help to address their symptoms.”

In doing so, the team aims to address stark geographical disparities in care, financial barriers to treatment and health provider shortages to help patients find the right treatment.

One in ten women lives with endometriosis, a chronic condition where endometrial-like tissue grows outside the uterus.

The disease is linked to as many as 50 per cent of infertility cases, being acknowledged by public health experts as a crisis on a vast scale.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that “at least” six and a half million women in the US alone have the condition, a figure that rises to as high as 190 million globally.

When accounting for hospital readmissions and repeat doctor or emergency room visits along with loss of workplace productivity, unmanaged endometriosis costs the US economy an estimated US$50bn per year. 

However, symptoms can be successfully treated and disease progression can be slowed or halted with timely intervention, which translates to higher quality of life and lower costs. 

To provide better management of diverse symptoms, ELANZA’s new service conducts an assessment of symptoms and provides private consultations with prescribing physicians and care navigators, as well as a dashboard of education and classes from a range of specialists, including reproductive health nurses, gynaecologists, pain and fertility specialists, nutritionists, breathwork coaches and acupuncturists. 

Classes are available for at-home sessions and accessed through a Peloton-style dashboard within the platform, with members working with a dedicated care navigator to document progress.

The ELANZA team follows the biopsychosocial model of care, which takes into account the social and psychosocial determinants of health.

This approach is consistent with published research showing that a multimodal approach to managing endometriosis can improve functional and quality of life outcomes for people living with endometriosis. 

We bring the latest evidence-based virtual treatments, products and services together in one place to better connect the dots, using data to faster learn what will move the needle for each individual’s quality of life,” explained Hawkins.

“That’s the exciting part: making strides in better understanding this condition so future generations don’t need to suffer.” 

The start-up, which counts a Stanford Gynecology and Obstetrics Professor Emeritus amongst its clinical advisory, emerged from Techstars New York accelerator and received funding from Human Ventures, Gaingels and the Accel Scout Fund. It has recently joined the Re/Wire development studio run by the consumer health company HALEON.

EverythingEndo is accessible from any device and works either standalone or in complementary tandem with in-office surgical and medical treatments.

For more information, visit


Labcorp launches screening test to identify preeclampsia risk sooner

The new screening tool is capable of assessing the risk of preeclampsia sooner, the test maker says



Labcorp has launched a screening test that can assess the risk of preeclampsia before 34 weeks of pregnancy.

Preeclampsia is a high blood pressure disorder that can develop during pregnancy or postpartum and is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality worldwide.

Roughly one in 25 pregnancies in the US is affected by preeclampsia, which poses an even greater risk for non-Hispanic black women, who experience the condition at a 60 per cent higher rate compared to white women.

In January, Labcorp announced the launch and availability of an FDA-cleared blood test for risk assessment and clinical management of severe preeclampsia during the second and third trimesters.

The first trimester test uses four early pregnancy biomarkers to provide a risk assessment with up to 90 per cent sensitivity, nearly twice the sensitivity of assessing typical maternal history or biophysical factors alone.

According to Labcorp, the test results provide risk identification earlier than traditional symptoms, such as hypertension or protein in the urine, which tend to develop around 20 weeks gestation.

Eleni Tsigas, chief executive officer of the Preeclampsia Foundation, said: “Our organisation celebrates this innovative new test offering.

“Research shows that patients and providers want access to more tools that better predict progression to preeclampsia, especially for those patients with low- to average-risk or those with first-time pregnancies for whom there is some uncertainty.”

Dr Brian Caveney, chief medical and scientific officer at Labcorp, added: “Labcorp is committed to advancing maternal and foetal health through innovative diagnostic and screening solutions.

“This new first trimester blood test is another significant milestone in our mission to improve health and improve lives. By giving healthcare providers another tool to assess preeclampsia risk in their pregnant patients with objective biomarkers, we’re helping to advance prenatal care and improve outcomes for mothers and their babies.”

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People with HIV can be sperm and egg donors

A change in law will allow people with non-transmissible HIV in the UK to donate gametes to partners



Same-sex couples with non-transmissible HIV will now be able to donate eggs or sperm and become parents.

People with HIV will able to donate their sperm or eggs to their partners, as the law in the UK is updated.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act will be amended via a statutory instrument to allow people with non-transmissible HIV – with a viral load low enough not to pass on – to donate eggs or sperm, known as gametes, as part of fertility treatment to their partners.

Under current rules on IVF, only a male partner with HIV can give their sperm to their female partner and not to anyone else.

The law change will also eliminate extra screening costs for female same-sex couples undertaking reciprocal IVF treatment.

The government says this is part of wider work to improve access to IVF for everyone and ensure same-sex couples have the same rights as a man and woman when trying to conceive.

“These changes will allow more people to fulfil their dream of becoming parents,” said UK health minister, Maria Caulfield.

“We have changed the law to ensure equality for people living with HIV when accessing IVF, allowing them to donate their eggs and sperm.

“In addition, the change will allow female same-sex couples to access IVF with no extra screening costs, the same as heterosexual couples.”

She added: “These changes will help create a fairer system by removing barriers to accessing fertility care as we have set out in the Women’s Health Strategy.”

The changes to the law will allow people with HIV to donate their gametes to family, friends and known recipients.

The regulations include an updated definition of partner donation to enable female same-sex couples wishing to donate eggs to each other to undergo the same testing requirements as heterosexual couples.

Under current rules, female same-sex couples hoping to conceive via reciprocal IVF must first go through screening for syphilis and genetic screening, such as cystic fibrosis, which can cost over £1,000, while heterosexual couples do not need to undergo this screening.

Julia Chain, chair of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA), said: “The HFEA welcomes the news that legislation regarding partner donation in relation to reciprocal IVF, and gamete donation from those who have HIV with an undetectable viral load, has now been proposed in Parliament.

“Fertility treatment is helping more people than ever to create their family, and everyone undergoing fertility treatment should be treated fairly.

“For known donation from individuals with undetectable HIV, we anticipate that the first clinics may be able to begin to offer this treatment around 3 months following a change in the law.

“We encourage any patients or donors who may be affected by these changes to visit the HFEA website to find out free and impartial information, including about how to choose a fertility clinic.”

Minister for equalities, Stuart Andrew MP, added: “Treatment for HIV has improved significantly, saving countless lives, but the stigma surrounding it persists – a stigma which often prevents people from getting tested and seeking treatment.

“These changes will help to reduce that stigma, making it clear that people with HIV can live full and happy lives. I am delighted by these changes which will enable more people to experience the joy of becoming parents.”

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Portfolia invests total of US$65m into women’s health companies

The platform has invested in 47 femtech start-ups to date



Trish Costello, founder and CEO of Portfolia

The US venture investing platform Portfolia has announced it has invested a total of US$65m into women’s health companies and solutions.

Portfolia aims to create, educate and support the largest community of women investors in the world.

The company says it was amongst the first to recognise the “immense” potential of women’s wealth, with women’s health at the forefront.

To date, Portfolia has made investments in 112 companies with 47 of those women’s health companies being femtech and active aging specific.

Some of these include Madison Reed, Maven, Everly Health, Bone Health, Veana, Your Choice, Future Family, Willow, Hey Jane, Lighthouse Pharma, L-Nutra and JoyLux.

The total companies Portfolia has invested in are estimated to serve over 102 million customers in 115 countries worldwide.

These companies have a combined value of over US$17bn, with over US$1bn in revenue and 10,000 employees worldwide.

According to Portfolia, almost 70 per cent of these businesses are led by female CEOs, and 49 per cent are led by BIPOC individuals.

“At Portfolia, we believe in the power of activating our wealth for returns and impact,” said Trish Costello, founder and CEO of Portfolia.

“Today, women in the United States have unprecedented access to wealth – with over US$25tn of wealth in the US and almost 50 per cent of it owned by women.

“This wealth is power – power to create financial change and invest in the companies and businesses that matter to us and meet our needs/desires.”

She added: “Our commitment goes beyond traditional venture capital – we’re pioneering change, saving lives, and creating opportunities for all, while creating the most powerful community of women investors globally, and the first to activate our wealth to shape the future of healthcare.”

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