VC-backed women’s health company Madorra to begin clinical trials in Australia
OneVentures Healthcare Fund III invests in Madorra
Sydney, AU, 4 September 2018 – OneVentures, a venture capital firm focused on investment in high growth, transformative technology and healthcare companies, has lead a Series A investment in medical device company MadorraTM through its Healthcare Fund III (the Fund). The Fund is contributing AU$4M into the Series A investment towards addressing a critical need in the field of women’s health, consequently improving quality of life for both post-menopausal women and women who have received treatment for chronic conditions such as breast cancer.
The OneVentures investment will fund device production and clinical trials to take place in Australia. OneVentures has invested alongside quality US investors including the Stanford-StartX Fund and the Fogarty Institute for Innovation.
The OneVentures Healthcare Fund supports the commercialisation of biomedical innovation and was established as part of the Federal Government’s Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) initiative. The Fund was awarded AU$85M from the Federal Government which was matched by OneVentures’ investors.
Madorra is developing a medical device for the treatment of vaginal dryness associated with vulvovaginal atrophy (VVA). VVA is a chronic and disruptive problem that affects more than 16 million women in the US alone. Symptoms include dryness, irritation, soreness, painful intercourse (dyspareunia) and urinary incontinence. These symptoms are common in women experiencing menopause or hormone treatment for critical conditions such as breast cancer.
Currently, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is the most common treatment option for addressing the painful symptoms of VVA. HRT is contra-indicated for breast cancer survivors and therefore treatment options for vaginal dryness are extremely limited for these women. HRT has been associated with negative side effects including an increased risk of heart disease, cancer and blood clots, and has become increasingly unpopular for the broader market target, post-menopausal women.
One patient describes the condition: “most days it’s just so bad that it hurts no matter what I do. These days we don’t even attempt intercourse or being intimate…and we haven’t for 6 years. This coming from a women who over the years has had a great enjoyment of sex and confidence in her body…to have found myself where I am now is incredibly frustrating. My partner is afraid to touch me, our marriage is hanging on by a thread, and I’m locked inside my body with no options. I know there are so many women out there like me, suffering in silence. It’s heartbreaking.”
Holly Rockweiler co-developed the technology while a Fellow in Stanford’s Biodesign Program in 2013. The Madorra team has been developing the device from its base in Portland, Oregon and following investment from OneVentures, will further device development and commence clinical trials in Australia.
She said, “Australia is the perfect place for us to develop this technology. The country has top-notch, streamlined clinical trial and product development resources. The equity investment led by OneVentures can be leveraged by the R&D tax incentive. All in all, the Australian environment is highly conducive to the development of innovative new technologies like the Madorra device.”
“Madorra’s therapy will be the first non-hormonal, non-invasive treatment for vaginal dryness. The device will work naturally with the body to restore vaginal lubrication. Madorra’s home-use device will allow women to reclaim their sexual wellness and empower them to improve their quality of life.”
The Madorra executive team has successfully raised this Series A investment round against the odds – in 2017, companies founded by women secured about 2% of all venture capital invested in the US and mixed-gender teams only an additional 12% according to Pitchbook. Stretching the odds even further is the fact that companies developing solutions to address problems in women’s health have traditionally found it difficult to raise venture capital. Women’s health research is under-funded meaning the pipeline of opportunities is limited, and the predominance of male decision makers in venture capital firms is believed to skew investment away from women-lead businesses, particularly those developing solutions in women’s health.
Anne-Marie Birkill, Managing Partner at OneVentures said, “The Madorra device meets a large, unmet need in women’s health, and OneVentures is delighted to be providing the resources to allow the company to bring it closer to market. The Madorra team, and their supporting directors, investors and advisors, includes seasoned experts with a track record of successfully commercialising medical devices. We look forward to adding Australian-based resources and expertise in clinical trials and product development to accelerate the development of the Madorra device.”
Madorra is a women’s health company developing medical device solutions to help millions of women worldwide. Madorra’s first product under development will treat vaginal dryness without hormones and allow women to reclaim their sexual wellness.
OneVentures is one of Australia’s leading venture capital firms, with over $320M in funds under management. But we do more than invest. We take companies to that all important next stage, by actively shaping their future. We apply years of international experience, operational and executional expertise to accelerate the growth of our portfolio companies.
A global growth focus drives our investment selection with our current portfolio including companies with truly innovative products tackling multi-billion-dollar problems, from needle-free vaccinations to virtual communications to adaptive e-learning.
OneVentures is one of Australia’s leading venture capital firms, with over $320M in funds under management. But we do more than invest. We take companies to that all important next stage, by actively shaping their future. We apply our years of international experience, operational and executional expertise to accelerate the growth of our portfolio companies.
A global growth focus drives our investment selection with our current portfolio including companies with truly innovative products tackling multi-billion-dollar problems, from needle-free vaccinations to virtual communications to adaptive e-learning. Game changers, that deliver lasting gains.
In December 2016 OneVentures launched its $170M Healthcare Fund III, a licensee of the Australian Government Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF*). This Fund invests in therapeutics, devices and diagnostics at or near clinical development with a clear commercial, regulatory and reimbursement pathway; and well-defined value inflection and exit points on deal entry.
The Fund will invest $10 to $20 million per company in Australian domiciled companies. The OneVentures team will provide support to drive these opportunities through the clinical, regulatory and reimbursement processes to achieve prominence in global markets.
The BTF programme was established by the Australian Government Department of Health to provide a pool of public and private funds for investment in promising biomedical innovations with commercialisation potential, managed by leading Australian venture firms. OneVentures was granted an $85 million license supported by matching capital from its private investor network, as one of three licenced venture capital fund managers. Announced in the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the BTF program will deliver long term national health and economic outcomes.