Founded Q1 2018
Stage Business development; safety clinical study
Investors The Trendlines Group, Sheba Medical Center
CEO David Shashar, MD
PregnanTech is developing Lioness, a small, game-changing device to prevent preterm birth.
Lioness is a disposable silicone device placed in the vagina and secured high around the uterine cervix. Lioness maintains its position on the cervix despite pressure and contractions, stopping cervical dilatation, keeping the cervix elongated, and delaying the “cascade” that leads to preterm birth.
The technology draws on the advantages of suturing the cervix (cerclage) and pessaries; yet, without their drawbacks. Other advantages —
PregnanTech’s preterm birth kit includes Lioness, a deployment apparatus, and a cervix grasping tool.
David Shashar received his medical degree from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology. He holds an executive MBA from the Kellogg-Recanati Business School and a MSc in biomedical engineering from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.
Prior to leading PregnanTech, David was the medical director of multidisciplinary collaboration platforms at Sheba Medical Center, assigned to proactively align physicians and engineers from the Israeli medical industry and academia to develop cost-effective, innovative medical technological solutions to meet pressing clinical problems. He has vast experience in inventing, innovating and developing new medical technologies.
Preterm birth (defined as delivery between 24 and 37 weeks of pregnancy) is the #1 problem in obstetrics. One in 10 babies worldwide is born preterm (15 million a year). Of these, 1 million will die and 1 million will suffer substantial disabilities for the rest of their lives, including breathing or feeding disorders and neural disabilities.
Babies born prematurely pose a huge financial cost to health care systems and families. In the United States, expenses associated with preterm births surpass $26 billion. Between 9% and 17% of all pregnant women are at risk for preterm birth.
Currently available treatments such as medications, hormones, suturing the cervix (cerclage), and pessaries are unsatisfactory. Obstetricians are at a loss in treating preterm birth.
PregnanTech estimates the market potential for Lioness to be more than $2 billion annually in developed countries alone.