Sunday, February 25, 2024

Women’s Health Startup Pledges $10M for Women’s Health Research – MedCity News

Perelel, an OB/GYN-founded vitamin company, pledged $10 million to support women’s health research and close gaps in maternal health, the company announced Tuesday.

Los Angeles-based Perelel offers targeted vitamin and supplement packs to support women throughout their reproductive health journey. For example, it has a conception support pack, a first-trimester prenatal pack, a second-trimester prenatal pack, a third-trimester prenatal pack and a motherhood pack. These packs are all about $50 a month for consumers. It also sells products for sleep support, hormonal balance and other areas.

The company’s $10 million pledge comes in the form of product donations and funding grants and will go to the Magee-Womens Research Institute and the Good+Foundation through 2027. The Magee-Womens Research Institute is a U.S. research foundation that is focused on women’s health and reproductive biology. The Good+Foundation is a nonprofit that pairs tangible goods with under-resourced fathers, mothers and caregivers. 

For the most part, Perelel is providing its product donations to the Good+Foundation and its funding grants to the Magee-Womens Research Institute, though Magee may also receive some product donations, according to Victoria Thain Gioia, co-CEO and co-founder of Perelel. The startup and Magee are still planning what research projects the funds will go toward, but it will be focused on maternal and reproductive health, Thain Gioia said.

The company has already provided $2.5 million in product donations since its launch in 2018, so the pledge is similar to what it’s already been doing, Thain Gioia said. She added that Perelel is using the pledge as an “opportunity to advocate about the large women’s health gap and the needs of women right here in the U.S. and these bigger problems in our healthcare system in maternal health.”

There is a desperate need for more women’s health research. In 1977, the Food and Drug Administration chose to exclude women of childbearing potential from clinical research studies. This lasted for about 20 years. It wasn’t until 1993 that Congress passed the National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act, which required women and people of color to be included in research studies. But there’s been improvement, with the White House launching an initiative on women’s health research in November. On Wednesday, the White House committed $100 million for women’s health research. There is also more funding going into women’s health startups, Thain Gioia said.

“I just think overall, there’s more awareness of the need for companies to stand for more and help make broader changes in the private sector. … There’s a lot more that we can do quickly in the private sector across women’s health, and so it’s been great to see how much funding and awareness is going into that space today,” Thain Gioia said.

Perelel also recently announced that it raised $6 million in Series A funding, which it is using to fuel growth, build its team and invest in research and development efforts for its products, Thain Gioia said. The financing was led by Unilever Ventures, Willow Growth and Selva Ventures. In total, the startup has raised $12.1 million.

Photo: StockFinland, Getty Images

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