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06/11/2023

Manina Medtech, Vall d’Hebron spin-off, closes an investment round to develop a medical device to increase the success of In Vitro Fertilization

Dr. Julio Herrero

Dr. Julio Herrero

Incubador embrió

Incubador d'embrions.

Ecografia a una dona

Ecografia a una dona.

06/11/2023

After carrying out a first feasibility trial in collaboration with the Assisted Reproduction Section of the Vall d'Hebron Hospital, Manina Medtech is moving towards a pilot trial in IVF patients.

Manina Medtech, Vall d’Hebron spin-off, has just closed its first round of pre-seed financing with Medex Partner as the lead Investor in the developing of a medical device to be used at the point-of-care. It will allow the evaluation of uterine preparation for embryo implantation in assisted reproduction cycles. The round had the participation of Medex, Darpaufarma, and the society Manina Family & Friends, all accompanied throughout the process by RCD as a legal office. This capital increase will enable the company to perform clinical research in patients undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles.

Currently, 190 million people and one in six couples worldwide are affected by infertility, making them seek help in Assisted Reproduction Treatments. In Spain, 10% of births are due to these techniques. In the case of in vitro fertilization, these are long, very expensive, and emotionally devastating processes. The success of IVF depends not only on the quality of the gametes and the generated embryo but also on whether the uterus is ready to receive the embryo.

Currently, the only available techniques for evaluating endometrial receptivity are laboratory methods requiring endometrial tissue biopsies and a long wait to obtain the results. Therefore, the embryo transfer is conducted in subsequent cycles. This option brings the aggravating factors of delaying the patient's treatment, and also the cycle in which the transfer occurs differing from the biopsy cycle. As a result, the prediction of the test fails in many cases. For this reason, endometrial receptivity trials are not part of the usual practice in IVF treatments and only indicated for some patients with recurrent implantation failures.

As of today, no non-invasive, precise, and instantaneous method allows the gynecologist to evaluate the uterine preparation on the day of embryo transfer.

Manina Medtech was founded in Barcelona in May 2021 to address this unresolved clinical need with the vision of increasing the success rate of IVF treatments, making them more accessible. Mónica Rodríguez de la Vega, Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with more than 15 years in research in life sciences and training in entrepreneurship and health innovation; and Luis Artiles, Ph.D. in Mathematics, senior expert in ML/AI and data-derived innovation, are the founders of the company. Manina Medtech, a company supported by the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), has a board of experts in human reproduction, among whom are Dr. Julio Herrero, head of the Assisted Reproduction Section at the Obstetrics Department of the Vall d'Hebron University Hospital and researcher at the Maternal and Fetal Medicine group at VHIR, and Dr. Melchor Carbonell, associate physician of the department and researcher at VHIR, specialist in Assisted Reproduction and expert in implantation failures.
 
With the help of funding from Startup Capital (Accio), the Women Tech EU program (EC), and Innostars Awards (EitHealth), Manina has developed SEEDCHRONY. This medical device performs an instant assessment of uterine preparation on the day of the embryo transfer. It has a sensor attached to a transfer catheter that detects a biomarker, which, together with a technology supported by artificial intelligence, determines whether the uterus is in the ideal conditions for successful embryo implantation on the day of testing. Manina has carried out a first study in Vall d'Hebron, which has validated the biomarker and has allowed the presentation of an international patent to protect the invention.

This capital increase will allow the company to complete clinical research in IVF patients, validate the usefulness of SEEDCHRONY in evaluating uterine preparation for embryo implantation, and increase the success of assisted reproduction treatments. The AEMPS (Agencia Española de Medicamentos y Productos Sanitarios) and Vall d'Hebron ethics committee have authorized the study to begin the research in the coming weeks. The company will also expand the team by adding experts in IT, regulatory legislation, and clinical research.

SEEDCHRONY will represent a substantial change in the embryo transfer procedure and allow the uterine readiness evaluation immediately, avoiding biopsies and preserving the endometrial tissue. We estimate that this new technique will increase the success of IVF procedures by more than 20%.

Medex Partners is an investment club that invests in medical device, nutraceutical, and diagnostic startups, with Rosendo Garganta as General Partner. Medex Partners has a portfolio of disruptive technologies in both pre-commercial and commercial phases.

Manina Medtech, a company supported by the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), has a board of experts in human reproduction, among whom are Dr. Julio Herrero and Dr. Melchor Carbonell.

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