Inherent Biosciences raises Series A funding led by Propel Bio Partners to redefine the path to parenthood by elevating the standard of care in male reproductive health
SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 7, 2022 -- Inherent Biosciences, the first Utah company involved in commercializing a diagnostic in the emerging biotech field of epigenetics, has raised Series A funding from an investor group led by Los Angeles-based Propel Bio Partners toward Inherent's goal of changing the course of reproductive health.
Inherent seeks to redefine the path to parenthood by raising the standard of male reproductive health through the commercialization of an Epigenetic Sperm Quality Test (Path SpermQT).
Inherent's focus on epigenetics is appealing to Leen Kawas, Ph.D., Propel's managing general partner, who is focused on helping founders and management teams to fulfill the urgent mission of advancing human health with disruptive technologies.
"Inherent Biosciences is pioneering a disruptive platform technology in epigenetics with the potential to advance not only the path to parenthood, but several other unmet clinical needs," Kawas added.
Numerous stakeholders from patients to physicians and reproductive healthcare executives also participated in the round, which included investments from Portfolia's FemTech II Fund as well as Alliance of Angels Innovation Fund. The funding will enable Inherent to expand its pipeline, scale commercial operations and generate the further seminal data necessary to add SpermQT to the standard of care.
"Portfolia is pleased to invest in Inherent Biosciences as they use advanced genetic technology to help analyze sperm, addressing the other half of the fertility issue," said Nola Masterson, Lead Investor Portfolia's FemTech I & II Funds.
Epigenetics is the study of heritable changes that don't involve alterations in the DNA sequence, which is the traditional genetic basis for inheritance. Thus epigenetics implies features "in addition to" that traditional genetic basis for inheritance.
"The path to parenthood takes both an egg and a sperm and deserves the best that science has to offer," said Kristin Brogaard, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Inherent Biosciences. "A lot of the burden is on women and yet up to half of infertility is due to male factors. Understanding the unique biology of both the egg and the sperm can make for more informed decision-making and planning throughout the fertility journey."
Inherent Biosciences' team of epigenetic technology innovators is made up of experienced entrepreneurs, clinicians and scientists working directly with the top male fertility leaders in the country, including Dr. Larry Lipshultz, Professor of Urology and Chief of the Scott Department of Urology's Division of Male Reproductive Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine; Dr. James Smith, Director of the Male Reproductive Health Center at UCSF; and Dr. Jim Hotaling, Director of the University of Utah Men's Health program and current President of the Society for the Study of Male Reproduction, the premier society in the field.
Andy Olson, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inherent Biosciences shared why the company decided to focus on fertility, "I have friends who had been trying to get pregnant for years, spent thousands of dollars mostly out of pocket, and were told they had 'unexplained' infertility. They are not alone, 30% of infertility is unexplained. Now is the time for innovation in male reproductive health and we're on a mission to raise the standard of care."
Olson continued, "This new funding, including access to Propel Bio Partners' ecosystem and network of experts and advisors, will enable us to significantly scale our commercial operations while generating the seminal data necessary to add SpermQT to the standard of care. We're excited to expand our team, raise awareness about our breakthrough technology and establish partnerships throughout the industry in order to help patients experience a better path to parenthood."
About Inherent Biosciences
Inherent Biosciences, Inc. is a biotechnology company pioneering epigenetic medicine for complex diseases. Gene dysregulation, a hallmark of complex disease, has been difficult to detect and treat, until now. The company's epigenetic platform detects dysregulation across multiple genes and related pathways to pioneer a new category of diagnostics and therapeutics that leverage epigenetics, biology's inherent mechanism for gene regulation, to radically transform how we diagnose and treat complex diseases like infertility. Learn more at www.inherentbio.com or connect on LinkedIn.
About Propel Bio Partners
Propel Bio Partners LP is a Seattle- and Los Angeles-based global equity investment firm focused on helping entrepreneurial life science companies advance groundbreaking technologies and therapies that improve human health. In addition to a financial commitment, the Firm provides its portfolio companies access to its ecosystem of medical experts, operational advisors and best-in-class service providers. For more information about Propel, visit www.propelbio.com.