The start-up Womed improves women’s fertility by protecting and healing the uterus for a future pregnancy.
Founded in 2018 by Gonzague Issenmann, a medtech entrepreneur, Prof. Xavier Garric of the Max Mousseron Biomolecules Institute (IBMM) at the University of Montpellier, and Dr. Stéphanie Huberlant of the Nîmes University Hospital Centre, the start-up has been awarded an i-Lab 2018 Grand Prix. They were one of 383 projects submitted for this competition.
The i-Lab Grand Prix, an honour for this innovative enterprise in the health field
Womed received the i-Lab Grand Prix on 5 July 2018, during the 20th edition of the competition, in the presence of Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation. The start-up is one of the 14 most innovative and promising projects of the year, as recognised by this award. i-Lab is a national competition for the creation of innovative enterprises organised each year by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation and BPI France.
Behind this Success Story is the research carried out in the IBMM’s Artificial Biopolymers Laboratory (part of the Chimie Balard Cirimat Carnot Institute) and in the Department of Gynacology-Obstetrics of the University Hospital Centre of Nîmes. This research was largely financed by a maturation programme of the SATT AxLR (a SATT is a regional organisation for the acceleration of technology transfer).
An innovative approach to improve the fertility of women
“We are very proud to be recognised for the help that we are going to bring to tens of thousands of women who wish to have a child and are unable to do so because of improper healing of their uterus.” declared Gonzague Issenmann, president and co-founder of Womed.
Womed tackles the principle mechanical cause of female infertility: intra-uterine adhesions. This is scar tissue inside the uterus, which can form following a surgical intervention like a D&C or fibroid removal. Intra-uterine adhesions are the cause for one out of five miscarriages.
The product developed by Womed prevents the formation of these adhesions: a thin sheet of a new polymer is inserted in the uterus like an IUD; the device unfolds and acts as a barrier to prevent the uterus walls from sticking together during the healing process, then turns into a gel that is naturally evacuated through the cervix.