The health tech company Cirqle Biomedical, has secured funding from both the EU’s Eurostars program and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The company that is developing an easy to use, on-demand contraceptive without hormones for women has been part of the BII Creation House program since the spring of 2019. Prior to that, the start-up was in the BII Business Acceleration Academy program establishing a solid initial business plan for their technology.
“We have been looking for soft funding opportunities that can support our path towards clinical trials this spring and are proud to have secured support from world experts in contraceptive development in both US and EU agencies”, says CEO Frederik Petursson Madsen.
He is co-founder of the company alongside CSO Thomas Crouzier who leads a research group focused on mucus engineering at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH). The company’s product called OUI® is a vaginal gel that reinforces the mucus in the vagina to make it impenetrable for sperm cells and thereby prevent pregnancy.
Clinical trials in the US
The US grant is administered by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), which is dedicated to developing novel, safe and effective contraceptive methods for men and women.
“Through the grant, we will access the NICHD’s state-of-the-art Biological Testing Facility for advancing pre-clinical development of novel non-hormonal contraceptive technologies. The grant will finance both the initial biocompatibility screening and final validation that allow us to move the product into human clinical trials in the US”, says Frederik Petursson Madsen.
The financing from the EU provides DKK 7.6M to strengthen the collaboration between Cirqle Biomedical, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and INRAE, the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment. Cirqle Biomedical will focus on assessing biocompatibility and in vivo efficacy of their lead candidate followed by validating the product in a human usability study.
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