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Women's Health Startup NextGen Jane Gets $1.5M NIH Grant for Endometriosis Test Development

NEW YORK — NextGen Jane, a startup using genomic data to develop diagnostics and drugs for female reproductive disorders, said on Tuesday that it has won a $1.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue work on a noninvasive test for endometriosis.

The company is developing a tampon-style device that collects menstrual effluence, which can then be analyzed for endometrial tissue RNA biomarkers of endometriosis. With the two-year Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant, NextGen Jane aims to conduct a 72-person study with a negative or positive surgical confirmation of endometriosis to confirm previously identified biomarkers.

According to the grant's abstract, NextGen Jane will also use RNA sequencing data to examine around 300 pre- and post-laparoscopy matched patient samples to confirm sensitivity and specificity of microRNA and messenger RNA biomarkers in concert with patient survey data.

"To overcome a significant barrier in helping women with endometriosis, it is critical to increase disease awareness through convenient at-home testing," NextGen Jane cofounder and CEO Ridhi Tariyal said in a statement. "This competitive NIH grant helps NextGen Jane take the next steps in developing the big data analytic tools needed to establish the molecular signature of this novel noninvasive diagnostic for patients in obstetrics and gynecological care and for women who want greater control of their own health."

Oakland, California-based NextGen Jane previously received $267,669 in Phase I SBIR grant funding to develop endometriosis biomarkers.