Empowering Women Through Personal Health Data

It’s really difficult
to be a life science entrepreneur when you’re young
and just graduated from HBS. Commercializing
life science happens at the juncture of good
research, lots of capital, and great passion,
and that’s the nexus that the Blavatnik
Fellowship facilitates. Young entrepreneurs have the
imagination and the vision and the risk capacity
to think big, but investors don’t
always have the confidence to write big checks for
young first time executives. The Blavatnik Fellowship in
life science entrepreneurship has become this program
for young entrepreneurs who are interested in
science-based businesses, to have a year to
gather the resources, build a team if they
get to that point, and raise the money
to start a company. If you ask a woman, what is
the most prominent question in her mind today when it
comes to reproductive health, her sound bite might
be, I want to protect my reproductive health to the
extent that I can have children if and when I want to. The form factor of
a tampon gives you access, a unique
singular access, to a woman’s reproductive
system like nothing else short of a biopsy. All of these different cells
have specific signatures. And so if we’re looking at
endometrial cells, for example, they will have
specific signals that correlate to different
diseases, like endometriosis. If we’re actually
looking at ovarian cells, we may be able to pick up
things like ovarian cancer. In our lab here in Oakland,
it’s part wet bench and part dry lab work. You cross over the bridge,
and people are real. And the vibe is great, and
it fits my personality, as well as Jane’s. Our central philosophy has
always been to empower women directly. Through the massive amount of
data that we’re collecting, we’re building a
pipeline and data analytics that can tell
you whether you’re sick or you’re healthy. The hope is that once the
medical community becomes familiar enough
with the product, and there’s enough data
from thousands and thousands of patients, we would
be able to push this onto the market
direct to consumer, meaning you should be able
to get it and use it just like a pregnancy
test that you do now. We’ve advanced the prototype
so that it’s closer to market. We’ve closed our
second clinical trial. And we are on the cusp of
starting our pivotal trial. And so we have started
fundraising for our series A round. I’m Ridhi Tariyal. My company is NextGen Jane. And I’m in the first class of
Blavatnik Fellows from Harvard Business School. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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