About 50% of the world’s population are women – and women account for around 85% of spending decisions, said Cathy Friedman, Executive Venture Partner at Google Ventures, speaking at the BIO International Convention on Monday, June 13, 2022.
But women’s health is “woefully underrepresented and underfunded,” said Kevin Ali, CEO of Organon, a biotech company that spun off from Merck one year ago to focus on women’s health products.
They joined a panel, Primed for Growth: Innovating to Address the Business Opportunity to Build a Women’s Health Market, moderated by Angelica Peebles, a reporter at Bloomberg News.
Women have unique health needs – and many things they experience “just because they are women,” said Sabrina Martucci Johnson, President and CEO of Daré Bioscience, Inc. These “unique needs” range from fertility to menopause to sexual health and wellness, which is Daré Bioscience’s wheelhouse.
And because many of these unique needs are unmet needs, the area of women’s health is ripe for investment.
“People will look back and be sad that they weren’t investing now,” she noted.
Women’s health ‘can be a successful enterprise’
Now, women have more of a voice, especially when it comes to women’s health – and companies are listening and accelerating women’s health innovation.
To overcome what Delphine O’Rourke, Partner at Goodwin Procter, LLP, calls “legislative reasons” why women’s health has been “underfunded and underfocused,” we need to “get all of our voices together, and we’re only going to do it if we’re collaborating.”
Despite the lack of investment, Organon’s Kevin Ali exclusively told Good Day BIO Live that we’re seeing “green shoots start to emerge.”
Women’s health “doesn’t just hit the mark of being a noble cause,” he said during the panel. “It can be a successful enterprise.”
He hopes other companies will look to the example of Organon: “If they can do it, maybe others can do it.”