By targeting the early and hormone-independent phase of egg maturation, Notify Therapeutics aims to develop a first-in-class treatment for infertile women who do not benefit from standard hormone therapy. We had a chat with COO, Joakim Sørensen and CEO, Karin Lykke Hartmann about the company’s mission and vision.
How can Notify Therapeutics make an actual difference for women who do not benefit from standard hormone therapy?
Standard hormone treatment poorly serves these patients because of a lack of efficacy or safety issues. Thus, many will never give birth to a biologically related child. We are developing a novel non-hormonal treatment specifically suitable for DOR patients, which will directly and immediately impact the quality of life of patients who are otherwise unable to have a child.
In which ways have you benefitted from being part of BII?
We have greatly benefitted from the support given to us by our anchors, business developers at BII, and the Women’s Health team. We are a small team, so having direct support from BII, be it regarding network or feedback on our grant applications, has been essential to our progress. We also benefit from interacting with other BII-anchored teams, where we exchange relevant experiences.
What are the main questions you need to address from investors?
The main questions revolve around the mechanism of action, health insurance reimbursement and clinical development path.
What does the future look like for Notify Therapeutics?
We are fundraising to enable us to finance our IND-enabling studies and the initial clinical studies. We expect to enter clinical trials by the end of 2023.
Which key milestones have you achieved that have contributed to making Notify Therapeutics an investable case?
We have established a research agreement to test our lead compound in a non-human primate model. Furthermore, we have solidified the case with a market report that encapsulates the huge potential even with the heterogenous reimbursement landscape.
What have been some of the key learnings from pitching to investors at conferences such as BioSeed?
Our pitch has been through several iterations as we gathered investors’ feedback. Again, BII has been immensely helpful by providing us with initial VC pitch opportunities, including feedback we could take along when we started the fundraising process. Some of the key learnings have been how to capture the issue and the solution in a capturing pitch, as this area is often outside of what the audience knows. Therefore, it has been essential to finetune our story so that it is clear what the issue is and how none of the current treatments address it.
The area of non-hormonal treatment has traditionally been underfunded. What are the advantages and challenges of raising money for developing and commercializing a novel non-hormonal treatment?
We do not think there are any advantages or challenges in raising money for a non-hormonal treatment, per se. None of the focus with investors has been on whether it is hormonal. Instead, the focus has been on how this treatment can open up possibilities that existing options do not address. It would likely gain similar traction if this could be achieved with new hormone treatment.
BII focuses a lot on science, team and development. How have you developed in these three areas since you entered BII?
We have established a small but excellent team that complements each other and encompasses scientific, development and business skills. In science, we have further developed the intended drug delivery and are establishing data for the non-human primate proof of concept. As a team, we have grown to make the most of each person’s competencies, which has driven the company forward in all areas.