I wasn’t able to write a blog post last week and instead had to focus my time on building software for the company, networking and the never ending quest for funding. As many of you know, we are bootstrapping. That means, much like a non-profit, we rely on a handful of committed individuals, working many, many hours without pay (thank you Lucine team).
Of course we all hope that will change, but the economy is struggling and startup capital is difficult to come by. And, as I and others have written about previously, we’re building a business around decidedly ‘un-sexy’ diseases and conditions (not cool gadgety gizmos—although we’ll have some of those in the future). Areas of hormone health that many researchers dare not touch because they know there is no funding. (One day, I’ll write a blog post highlighting our all-time best grant or publication rejection letters- -we have some dooseys. One of my favorites: “there is no evidence that hormones are involved in…” Well, of course there is no evidence, because we don’t measure these things.)
Indeed, why should we measure hormones relative to clinical symptoms, if the only treatment options are oral contraceptives (HRT- if you’re older) followed by anti-depressants or anxiolytics (yes, because when oral contraceptives don’t work, the symptoms are certainly psychosomatic ) or surgery (who needs a uterus after childbearing)? Isn’t it obvious? Forgive me if I get a little snarky when talking about the deficiencies in women’s hormone health research, diagnostics and therapeutics. Sometimes it’s difficult to believe that in the 21st century with all of the other advances in health, we are still at a state where data for decision making is optional.
The women who follow us know that there is a tremendous unmet need for what Lucine is doing. Read the personal stories highlighted in our blog; years and years of suffering before diagnosis, followed by more suffering post diagnosis because there are so few therapeutic options. Read the recent reports indicating that less than 30% of OB/Gyn based clinical decision guidelines based on evidence. Then it becomes clear.
Those investors, who have taken the time to get to know Lucine realize there is a market opportunity here as well. Where there is such a huge unmet need, there is always opportunity. All we need is to close that first round with an investor; an investor who sees the double bottom-line that Lucine offers. An investor who sees beyond our gender-challenged management team (we’re not the typical 28 year old men that VCs prefer). We’re, dare I say, ‘older’ women with a few brave men, who have been around the block a couple times. We need investors who want to fundamentally remake the way health research and diagnostics are done.
In the meantime, Lucine is committed to JFDI, the sentiment currently driving startup innovation all over the globe, including here in Vegas. I won’t spell out the acronym, but it evolved from “just do it” and with some additional edge, captures the angst of our times. We are doing it. We welcome anyone with the skills and passion to help. Women are suffering, research is needed, Lucine will fill that need. Join us. JFDI !