Our portfolio company Aspivix is developing a technology based on a new approach to replace the cervical tenaculum used in the Intra-Uterine device insertion – which is very painful – with a gentle vacuum suction-based device that guarantees no trauma or bleeding.
The Intra-Uterine device (IUD) is the most cost-effective reversible contraception method available nowadays. It is a small and often T-shaped device that is inserted into the uterus. There are two kinds of IUDs, the hormonal, which releases a hormone called progestin, and the non-hormonal, which are called Copper IUDs, and it is the copper itself that prevents pregnancies. Both types are more than 99% effective and are designed to work from 3 to 12 years. Moreover, several leading medical organizations recommend IUDs as a first-line choice.
However, did you know that one of the devices used during these procedures is very painful, and can cause bleeding, lesions, and infections? It’s called the tenaculum, and it is a medical instrument that has been commonly used in gynecology for over a century. Almost 90% of the women that undergo through this procedure have reported moderate to severe pain. Every year, about 80 million women around the world suffer from trauma caused by this device.
Why is this procedure so painful?The tenaculum resembles a pair of scissors with sharp-pointed hooks at the end. For procedures that require access to the uterus, gynecologists insert the tenaculum into the vagina, piercing the cervix tissue to seize and pull it steadily (e.g., during IUD insertion). Therefore, why would any woman want these painful, sharp hooks intruding in her body’s most sensitive and intimate part?
Luckily, Aspivix’s is working to change gynecology into a more modern and gentle medical practice. They are transforming how gynecological procedures are being carried on, so when we look into the future, we can say we have modern gynecology. Modern means that they give clinicians proper tools to provide modern gynecology because it is really time to develop women-centered technologies.
That’s why they are developing the next-generation surgical instrument, which will replace the cervical tenaculum with a gentle vacuum suction-pad device. This innovative technology is applied on the cervix to steady it during the gynecological procedure. The pain is minimized, there is no bleeding or tissue tear, and the whole experience is less traumatic.
Aspivix is currently undergoing a two-phase clinical trial in Switzerland. Phase I was completed in November and the full results are expected to be published in a peer reviewed medical journal early 2021. Yesterday, Aspivix issued a press release announcing positive preliminary results in their First in Women Trial Phase I, which was conducted at the University Hospital of Lausanne in Switzerland. The two-phase ADVANCE Women (Atraumatic Device using VAcuum Technology for CErvical Procedures in WOMEN) trial assesses the usability, efficacy, and safety of Aspivix’s innovative solution. The ten women eligible for the IUD insertion reported lower procedural pain and no procedural bleeding or tissue tear. These are preliminary results and will be confirmed in the Phase II of the study that will start next year, but these outcomes are already encouraging and inspiring!
HEMEX is very proud and honoured to have Aspivix as one of our portfolio companies. We believe that protecting and promoting women’s health for future generations is very important, and therefore will continue supporting start-ups that have formidable value and innovative ideas.
There are many ways you can show your support in the global effort to improve women’s health. If you are passionate about making a difference and pushing scientific discoveries in women’s health, help us spread the word! If you are an investor interested in the above ideas and products, please contact us!
HEMEX is committed to changing the future of healthcare by guiding the most promising European start-ups through each and every step to bring innovative pharmaceuticals, medical devices and in vitro diagnostics to the market. Headquartered close to the thriving Basel global Life Sciences hub, the goal at HEMEX is to ensure start-ups have access to a wide range of tailored products, practical solutions and fundraising support. This empowers the next generation of transformative discoveries to grow into successful and sustainable businesses, and drive change in both human and animal healthcare. For more information, visit https://hemex.ch/