USA – Fertility tech company Alife Health has scooped up US$22 million in a Series A financing round co-led by Deena Shakir at Lux Capital, Rebecca Kaden at Union Square Ventures and Anarghya Vardhana at Maveron.

The company, which is backed by 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki, intends to use the funding to bring its first two products to market and to continue clinical trials for a third.

As part of the investment, Kaden and Vardhana will join Shakir on Alife’s board of directors.

The startup said it will use the capital to bring two products to market, including an AI tool that aims to help clinicians make decisions during the IVF ovary stimulation process to maximize the number of mature eggs and lower costs.

It also plans to release an app that includes informational and organizational resources geared toward patients.

The investment will also support clinical studies for an AI product that could help providers prioritize embryos for transfer.

Artificial intelligence has tremendous potential to impact the effectiveness and equity of fertility care,” said Paxton Maeder-York, founder and CEO of Alife, in a statement.

The San Francisco-based company, founded in 2020, recently raised US$9.2 million in a seed round.

IVF costs in US

In the United States, a single IVF cycle costs around US$12,000, and the cost can rise to US$25,000 with medication.

Furthermore, because the success rate of a single cycle is close to 30%, most parents undergo multiple cycles in order to have a baby.

Stim Assist, Alife’s first product, assists clinicians in making decisions during ovarian stimulations, in which the patient receives injected medications to induce the ovaries to produce mature eggs in order to remove them from the uterus, fertilize them, and reimplant them.

The AI tool helps clinicians use the right dose of medication to extract the most mature eggs per cycle while also lowering medication costs.

Later this year, the startup plans to launch a patient platform with educational resources and treatment management tools for medication reminders, appointments, and lab results.

The company’s third product, for which clinical trials are currently being planned, uses AI to analyze patient embryos to assist embryologists in prioritizing them for transfer.

Startups focused on fertility are attracting investor interest, with many offering products and technologies to improve access to fertility treatments or fertility-specific benefits.

In the first eight months of 2021, women’s health startups raised $1.3 billion in venture capital.

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