Theblood: Empowering Women's Health with Menstrual Blood Testing
In the pursuit of revolutionizing women's health, theblood emerges as a trailblazing company, harnessing the power of menstrual blood to provide invaluable insights into female-specific health conditions. Through their innovative test kit, women can conveniently collect their menstrual blood at home and send it to partner labs for analysis. The comprehensive hormonal and biomarker data obtained from this non-invasive process holds the potential to pave the way for earlier diagnoses and personalized health solutions. In this interview with Dr. Lucas Mittelmeier we delve into the motivation behind Theblood's inception, their groundbreaking technology, and their mission to create a more informed and empowered female healthcare landscape. Additionally, we explore their strategies for collaboration with pharmaceutical companies, health insurance providers, and potential clients, as well as their journey as participants in the transformative 5-HT X-Linker Healthtech event.
How would you explain your solution in three sentences to a professional colleague from the health sector?
We develop menstrual blood tests to improve women's health. Using our test kit, women will be able to collect their menstrual blood at home and send it to one of our partner labs. Here, we analyse hormone levels and other biomarkers linked to female-specific health conditions. In the long-term, we will tap into markers specific to endometrial tissue. Our app displays the results and helps users understand their individual health and how they can take action. The whole process is non-invasive.
What problem motivated you to start the company?
My co-founders Miriam and Isabelle have both faced their own health journeys. Dealing with endometriosis and ovarial cysts, they often experienced a lack of awareness and meaningful diagnostic tools in the healthcare system. It took both of them years to find a diagnosis. Looking for answers in the latest research, they stumbled upon a proof-of-concept paper on menstrual blood testing. Fascinated by the idea of turning waste into health data, they initiated theblood.
How do you convince a pharmaceutical company, a health insurance company or another potential client to set up a pilot project with you?
We offer truly unique access to women and their specific health interests. By learning about women's pain points and expectations and matching it with biological data, we create one of the most holistic data sets in the industry. Any player in the healthcare sector with true interest in improving female-focused diseases will find value in speaking to us.
In addition, we open up new options for drug discovery and diagnostics development with our new and previously untapped biological sample. Our patent-pending technology aims to unlock and separate the complex components of menstrual blood, such as plasma or specific immune cells. This is most relevant in disease areas such as endometriosis, fertility (e.g., chronic endometritis) and potentially cancer. We work to create more accessible and more accurate diagnostic solutions in these areas compared to conventional venous blood tests or biopsies.
Who are your current customer (groups) and who do you want your potential customers to be?
e are currently still developing our testing technology. Our product is designed for menstruators interested in checking their health, exploring cycle-related symptoms and reasons for infertility. In most cases, that means women aged 15-50. Our initial launch region will be Germany, followed by further European countries.
Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?
In 3 years, our first range of test kits will be on the market in Germany, helping thousands of women to regularly track their health. Further, we will conduct large-scale research studies to identify new biomarkers in menstrual blood that are linked to some of the most severe female health conditions. We welcome all partners interested in joining us on our mission to accelerate menstrual blood research!
You participated in the 5-HT X-Linker Healthtech for Pharma in March 2023. What is your impression of the event and what have you gained (so far) from participating?
We definitely enjoyed the 5-HT X-Linker event! We encountered numerous new ideas, opportunities and valuable contacts. Among all benefits, we appreciated being in such direct contact and very open exchange with some of the most impactful pharma companies in the industry. Seeing the great connections we have made, we recommend the event to every ambitious HealthTech startup out there.
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