CurivaTM - Developing a wearable non-invasive platform for detection of gynecologic oncology malignancies
Eydis Lima, MSc- Founder of Curiva
Eydis is an engineer turned entrepreneur, and she seeks to innovate solutions for women in the area of gynecologic oncology. As a founder, she has more than 3 years of experience in the field of entrepreneurial business development and altogether 9 years of experience in the technical space of life sciences. She has consistently been rewarded for hard work with increased responsibilities and opportunities to help clients grow or take on improved business angles that can manifest into early-stage start-ups. Particularly, in the case of the research she worked in the Mor Lab at Yale University with the ovarian cancer therapeutic, Cantrixil. To date, that therapeutic is in phase II clinical trials with Kazia Therapeutics both in Australia and the United States. Additional work that she conducted in this lab were in-vivo studies to demonstrate that a grafted diagnostics nanoparticle had potential in detecting ovarian cancer micrometastasis. Currently, she is focused on the commercialization and business development of a patent-pending technology she has invented, diaPatchTM, a diagnostics patch for detection of cervical cancer. Her prior research inspired her to pursue this innovator and entrepreneurial path. As a teenager, she knew she wanted to incrementally propose improved non-invasive tools to women suffering from the large toll that gynecologic oncology malignancies take on their lives. Her education encompasses a Master of Science in Entrepreneurship from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor's of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the United States.
About CurivaTM - Focus on diaPatch TM
diaPatchTM is a novel patent-pending molecular diagnostic medical device. This diagnostic patch is non-invasive and able to detect high-risk, pre-cancerous biomarkers more accurately. The initial product, diaPatchCERTM effectively forecasts the onset of pre-cancerous lesions for cervical cancer as the primary area of indication. The follow-on product, diaPatchOVATM later supports the detection and real-time monitoring of ovarian cancer. Patients are sampled via diaPatchTM using microneedles. This novel assay of detection gives results the same day, during the clinical visit.
Women oncology industry challenges
The main challenge that Femtech and more precisely women oncology faces is obtaining more support; both via traction from customers, advice from their advisory and scientific boards, and funding from investors. Not enough female founders, let alone diversified, multilingual female founders receive funding. And for Eydis, this is a challenge.
Curiva’s long-term vision is to provide their products to as many patients in need of early detection as possible. And in 10 years, to become a platform technology for women’s health diagnosis.
Curiva’s biggest achievements
- Participation in MassChallenge Austin [Q2-Q3 2018], where they secured an NSF I-Corps Grant and obtained the support of their first advisory board member, Elizabeth Jennings
- Participation in Accelerator for Biosciences Connecticut (ABCT) [Q1-Q22021], secured initial individual angel investment; Best Diagnostic Innovation Award from DigitalDx Ventures [Q4-2021]
- Application to a National Institute of Health/National Cancer Institute (NIH/NCI) SBIR Phase I grant[Q1-2022], secured second individual angel investment
- Formation of their Advisory Board [Q4 2021] and Scientific Advisory Board [Q4 2022], secured third individual angel investor
- The Founder, Eydis Lima, MSc has received the Healthcare 2.0 Outstanding Leadership Award [Q4 2022], she also participated on a panel discussing Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Healthcare
We asked her three questions:
What will the key trends in your industry be in the next five years?
I believe these will all be creative trends. And creative trends that are defined by the intersection of multiple fields. As an example, for Curiva TM it has been biomedical engineering/gynecologic oncology/synthetic biology. And it’s been technologies that have been around for quite some time, but that just now are truly trending that product innovation cycle.
I see population health and personalised medicine becoming more readily available and accessible worldwide. And I see artificial intelligence (AI) making a big impact in the way in which we diagnose, operate, and treat patients. In particular, women patients, who have been significantly under-represented in the clinical trials space.
What is the most important piece of advice you could give to anyone who wants to start a career in this industry?
Stay focused and surround yourself with a smart, cohesive team plus a wise and interdisciplinary advisory and scientific board. You as a founder and the team input all the energy and your boards with their years of experience support you in making the best decisions for the near and long-term outlooks of the company.
What was the added value of being part of the 2022 Tech4Eva’s cohort?
Tech4Eva supported us by giving us an arena to present Curiva TM and product vision worldwide through all the amazing virtual and in-person roadshows that were put together. Additionally, it offered us a runway into Switzerland wherein we can diversify our market clientele once our product receives regulatory approval and it can be sold multi-nationally. The program also provided us with phenomenal mentors who allowed us to create strategies and introductions for pilot clinical trials with health systems and hospitals as well as establish partnerships with industry partners. Additionally, we were constantly in investor meetings because of the exposure that Tech4Eva provided.
And lastly, but more importantly, being part of the FemTech community world-wide was the biggest reward and takeaway for Curiva’s team. We cannot wait to see what lies ahead!