Women's Health: Too early or Too Late?
This article was originally published in Start Up
As an industry, women's health is in its infancy. It has yet to develop beyond a collection of niche specialties in reproductive medicine and breast cancer.
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The early-to-mid 1990s marked the rise of a huge wave of interest in women's health among device start-ups and investors. Several women's health companies, including Conceptus, were among the ill-fated IPO Class of 1996 that largely failed to meet investor expectations. Most of these start-ups are no longer around, but Conceptus re-trenched and shifted its emphasis from fertility to a new approach to sterilization, which finally received FDA clearance late last year. The company has survived the pitfalls that derailed other women's health start-ups, most notably a customer group that is difficult to access and slow to adopt new technology, and a challenging reimbursement environment, but in doing so, may be the exception that proves the rule.
Canbreal Therodiagnostics is developing diagnostic kits that may help women gauge their risk of developing breast cancer. Analysis of two estrogen dependent cellular markers associated with increased cell division and a cancer's ability to metastasize may provide some quantitative measure of breast cancer risk