Women’s health startup Lucine Biotechnology has a long-term goal of developing and commercializing affordable salivary diagnostics for hormone-related OB/GYN conditions that would be integrated into routine clinical care.
But in order to do that, it needs to fill the data gap that exists in the area of women’s hormone health. So it’s turning to social media and mobile technology.
“There’s a dearth of data in women’s health because the presumption is that we’ve been there, done that,” said CEO Chandler Marrs. “In OB/GYN care, only 30 percent of clinical practice guidelines are based on evidence.”
Researchers and physicians need more insight into how OB/GYN disorders and medications fit against the backdrop of cycling hormones, and that includes improved reference ranges for women’s hormone testing.
“When you get hormones measured, reference ranges are so enormously huge,” Marrs said. “They’re not stratified by age, medications, you’re taking, or race.”
Lucine is hoping to be able to collect some of this data with an online and mobile platform it’s rolling out in October.
The platform will enable women with hormone disorders to track their health symptoms, medications and hormones, and plot them against variables such as menstrual cycles, stages of pregnancy or menopause, and sleep cycles. Collection and analysis of these kinds of data could help women and their doctors make better treatment decisions while also enabling Lucine to discover macrotrends, see which medications work best in certain conditions and guide the development of better diagnostics.
Already the company is building its network of users through a Facebook community and a blog called Hormones Matter, which encourages women to submit their stories about hormone-related health conditions.
Marrs said the company is actively raising money. Once it’s funded, Lucine will be able to focus on the other half of its “double-bottom line” strategy with a lab devoted to establishing clear reference ranges for women’s hormone testing and the development of noninvasive diagnostics.
Salivary tests have been available in the physicians office and in clinical research for years, but Lucine hopes to standardize them to clinical conditions including PCOS, menopausal symptoms and pregnancy/postpartum complications to allow better prediction, diagnosis and monitoring of these conditions.
A GBI Research report from earlier this year deemed women’s health an area with high unmet need, especially in therapeutic areas where hormone therapy is used.
Founded in 2009, Lucine is based in Hendersonville, Nevada.