Precision medicine startup adyn raises $2.5 million in seed funding to develop safer birth control options
Side effects are the #1 reason women switch birth control methods, with 52% of women trying four or more methods (and this does not even consider multiple kinds of the pill) before finding one that works for her body. While some side effects—like weight gain and acne—are a nuisance, others—like blood clots and depression—can be life-threatening.
On average, women in the U.S. take birth control for 30 years. Today, the standard of care for hormonal birth control prescription is simply trial and error, and the average time spent on contraceptive counseling is 12.9 minutes.
Enter adyn, a woman-founded biotech tech startup that empowers women with personalized birth control recommendations aimed to minimize medication side effects. adyn uses proprietary hormone and genomic analyses to transform this selection process into science and remove the guesswork. Using adyn’s precision medicine approach, patients and doctors will be able to personalize birth control selection, minimizing side effects ranging from annoyances like acne to life-threatening conditions including blood clots and depression.
Today, adyn announced today it has closed a $2.5 million seed round of funding to personalized birth control for women. The round was co-led by Lux Capital and M13 with participation from Civilization Ventures, Concrete Rose Capital, Y Combinator, Madrona Pioneer Fund, Ascend VC, and angel investors including Anne Wojcicki of 23andMe, Nish Bhat of Color Genomics, Qasar Younis of Applied Intuition, and Ashley Mayer of Glossier.
Founded in 2019 by Dr. Elizabeth Ruzzo, the Seattle, Washington-based adyn is a precision medicine startup that provides medically actionable scientific insights and empowers individuals to proactively optimize their health—from birth control to fertility, and beyond
adyn’s flagship product, the Birth Control Optimization Test is the first-ever test that uses your biology to personalize your birth control choice. The at-home kit collects samples for our laboratory-developed test which aims to quantify hormone baseline levels and assess genetic risk for two of the most serious side effects: blood clots and depression. adyn then integrates this with a medical history and side effect profiles of estrogens and progestins used in hormonal contraception. adyn’s trained birth control specialists share personalized recommendations and are available for ongoing care through adyn’s telemedicine platform.
Dr. Ruzzo received her Ph.D. in genetics and genomics from Duke University and spent over 10 years researching and identifying genetic risk for complex diseases such as epilepsy and autism and worked to help the field realize its vision of precision medicine. Throughout her academic career, Dr. Ruzzo encountered gaps in the research that blocked genetic discovery in non-European populations and obfuscated or ignored how differences in biological sex contribute to disease and drug response.
Dr. Ruzzo said, “The pill has been on the market in the US since the 1960s, and 64M women of reproductive age in the US are fed up with a birth control selection process that is unscientific, unpredictable, and unpleasant. While completing my PhD in human genomics, I changed my birth control prescription and was thrown into suicidal ideation. Luckily, I recognized this was due to the change in medication. The medical research gender gap and medical research race gap have had profound and devastating impacts on available diagnostics, treatment, and care, and adyn seeks to make scientific discovery more inclusive. In order to eliminate trial and error in birth control selection, access to your own biological data is essential.”
Lux Capital Partner Deena Shakir said, “At the cutting edge of precision medicine, adyn is finally offering women better options for family planning and more control over their health. Dr. Ruzzo and her team have achieved a breakthrough in both technology and business model, which together will fundamentally transform the quality and precision of healthcare diagnostics and delivery. We are very excited to be partnering with an incredible founder, team, and co-investors in pursuit of a future where healthcare solutions are as unique as each individual they serve.”
M13 Partner Christine Choi said, “adyn is opening access to health through personalized scientific insights about genetics and hormone levels that are medically actionable. Dr. Ruzzo’s expertise in precision medicine will introduce a new standard of care for birth control and close gaps caused by historic inequity in medical research. We are thrilled to support breakthrough technology made personal for optimized individual health.”