NextGen Jane, a diagnostics startup focused on reproductive health, has raised a $9 million Series A round led by Material Impact, with the participation of Access Industries, Viking Global Investors, Liminal Ventures, and several angels.
The company's smart tampon, currently in beta, enables women to collect menstrual and cervicovaginal samples, preserve nucleic acids and other analytes important for disease detection and mail them to a lab for in-depth sequencing analysis and early diagnosis of potentially devastating reproductive disorders. The NextGen Jane system, it claims, allows for superior preservation of DNA and RNA of cells from the endometrium, cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
"Menstrual effluence acts as a natural biopsy of the female reproductive tract, enabling unprecedented access to tissues for diagnosing diseases," says Ridhi Tariyal, co-founder and CEO of NextGen Jane. "Decoupling sample collection from the clinic is a simple but effective way to expand access to care for many underserved populations."
The financing will be used to advance the company's scientific data set in select reproductive health areas, positioning it for commercialisation in 2020.
"The global women’s health market is $36.5 billion and growing, but an overwhelming number of women don’t have access to the care they need, even in established markets like the US... Jane’s disruptive technology platform replaces in-clinic, invasive diagnostic procedures with an elegant and simple solution," said Adam Sharkawy, Founder and Managing Partner of Material Impact.
NextGen Jane, based in Oakland, California, was founded in 2014 by Ridhi Tariyal and Stephen Gire. It participated in Illumina Accelerator, which helps founders drive value for genomics startups to develop breakthrough applications. The current round follows $2.2 million received in 2016.