Materna Medical Secures $20 Million Investment Led by InnovaHealth Partners

Materna Medical (Materna), a leading manufacturer of innovative medical devices in the United States, today announced the closure $20 million in Series B funding with a lead investment from a private equity firm, InnovaHealth Partners, LP (InnovaHealth), joining existing lead investors including Wavemaker 360 Health and Kimera Ltd. Enabling Materna to bring pelvic health solutions to women and healthcare professionals in the United States, the increase is one of the largest in women’s medical devices.

The round was launched by Materna President and CEO Tracy MacNeal and led by InnovaHealth Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Ariella Golomb. As part of this investment, Materna is expanding its Board of Directors to welcome Dr. Golomb, as well as Aileen Stockburger, former Vice President, Global Business Development and Strategic Planning at Johnson & Johnson, and Lisa Granick, Partner at Fletcher Spaght , Inc. .

While according to Crunchbase only 2.3% of venture capital has gone to companies whose founder is a woman, Materna is proud to join an exclusive group of companies with a majority female board of directors, a female CEO and a predominantly female management team.

Women’s vaginal health is misunderstood

Vaginismus is one of those conditions that are misinterpreted, underdiagnosed, understudied and overlooked, and as such one of the biggest challenges surrounding vaginismus is simply that patients and clinicians don’t have not heard of the condition. Millions of women suffer from the symptoms of the disease, which are pain and anxiety during desired penetration, including intercourse, tampons and pelvic exams. The most common reason patients end up with vaginismus is if they have a primary condition that causes pelvic pain that becomes chronic. For example, menopause, cancer treatment, sexual assault, and childbirth injuries are common conditions that can trigger secondary vaginismus, a chronic contraction of the pelvic floor muscles. Often patients do not realize that these symptoms are common and indicate a treatable condition called vaginismus.

“And the confusion is not just with the patient. There is tremendous misunderstanding and misinformation about the condition within the medical profession. Unfortunately, not much is taught about vaginismus in medical school. This lack of information means that patients often suffer from the disease for five years or more and see multiple clinicians who don’t know how to diagnose or treat it. What we try to do through our work at Materna Medical is to help clinicians learn the patterns of these patients so they can quickly identify, diagnose, and then help patients recover from vaginismus. secondary, improving their care and well-being,” says Materna. President and CEO of Medical, Tracy MacNeal.

Materna believes that women’s pelvic health disorders represent a significant unmet need that creates an inordinate opportunity for innovation, social impact and return on investment, and disrupts a market worth $6 billion in the most common pelvic conditions that women face.

A pivotal study in obstetrics

Although women’s pelvic health is chronically under-resourced, Materna successfully launched its first commercial product, Milli, an expanding dilator indicated to help relieve the symptoms of vaginismus, to the consumer wellness market in 2019. Investors saw the $10 million Series A2 funds successfully used to obtain 510(k) clearance from the FDA in December 2021.

“Our second product, Materna Prep, is currently undergoing a pivotal ‘EASE’ clinical trial to see if it can help first-time mothers achieve less pelvic muscle damage, a shorter second stage of labor and less risk of C-sections. Following the EASE trial and FDA clearance, Materna plans to launch Prep in the United States,” adds MacNeal.

Regarding Materna Prep, Materna is thrilled to bring an innovative new product to a pivotal study in obstetrics. Conducting clinical research on labor and delivery is a fundamental challenge because the nature of labor is unpredictable. Introducing new technology in obstetrics requires time and attention from busy clinical staff 24/7, so the company has remained very close to its partners in research to focus on the ease of use of this technology in the hectic environment of labor and delivery.

Prep technology originated from the Stanford Biodesign program, which focused on the unmet clinical need for perineal lacerations (tear) and pelvic floor injuries. Up to 9 in 10 new mothers experience perineal lacerations during childbirth – sometimes they’re minor injuries, and sometimes they’re life-changing, causing permanent disfigurement, sexual dysfunction, and long-term urinary and fecal incontinence. Additionally, damage to the pelvic floor muscles themselves is common, with up to 30% of all childbirth injuries involving muscle damage. Women who deliver vaginally are nine times more likely to have a prolapse later in life. “In our pilot study, Prep reduced pelvic floor injuries by 60%, so we knew we were on to something big. That’s why we’re continuing this crucial large study in 15 of the top hospitals in the United States. MacNeal shares.

Without a doubt, MacNeal and his team are thrilled to be associated with some of the best pelvic floor researchers in the world. They won a $2.2 million grant from the NIH to support their EASE trial and a partnership with the University of Michigan Pelvic Floor Research Group, led by Dr. John De Lancey and Dr. James. Ashton-Miller, where they use Materna’s Prep data to develop predictive models to help improve the standard of care during childbirth.

Women leading the business

Traditionally, in women’s health companies, management, board composition and decision-making power are predominantly male. With this new round, women will continue to lead Materna Medical and will now be represented in five of the seven board seats by women who are leading the pack, according to MacNeal. Current board members (including company CEO Tracy MacNeal and Southern California Reproductive Center CEO Michaela Griggs) will remain.

Without a doubt, Materna’s lead investor in this round – InnovaHealth Partners, LP (InnovaHealth), is thrilled to partner with them.

“Materna’s goal is to challenge the status quo in labor and delivery. For the first time, clinicians may be able to proactively offer their patients the option of mitigating pelvic floor injuries during childbirth. The company makes pelvic floor health a priority and develops advanced solutions to address common issues that women face throughout their lives. We couldn’t be more excited to partner with Tracy and the team at Materna to make this happen. Our investment demonstrates a commitment to women’s health care and an investment in women leaders. Materna will join an exclusive group of companies with a majority female Board of Directors, a female CEO and a majority female management team,” shares InnovaHealth co-founder and CEO Dr. Ariella Golomb.

Materna will use its Series B funding to accelerate the commercialization of the Milli vaginal dilator and finalize the de novo classification application for the preparation to obtain marketing authorization in the United States

“We conduct clinical research for Milli and Prep to expand indications and claims and ultimately make these technologies available to all patients who need them. We continue our commitment to health equity so that all patients can eventually have access, regardless of their ability to pay – it takes years of work, but it’s important to start early,” concludes MacNeal.

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