Leading a clinical trial for early detection of cancer
WHO IS SHE?
Anna Villarreal, Founder & CEO of LifeStory Health, Inc.
WHAT DID SHE DO ?
Anna is the first person in the world to lead a clinical trial that is working on early detection of female prevalent cancer using menstrual blood. Her company aims to early detect breast, lung and endometrial cancer. She keeps her first study results private, but in late 2018, her company led an early on-set Alzheimer study in which results were positive. Her company continues to build a pipeline of research for future BioPharma codevelopment as they focus on bringing their cancer technology to patients.
HOW DID SHE DO IT?
Not easily. Her data driven, patient focused approach has made leading a women's health company in today's environment challenging. Addressing a multi-centuries old problem in which the medical and scientific community deemed menstrual blood medical waste, Anna started at the root of the problem. Along the way, she reinvented the model to biotechnology development. As she called for more research on women specifically, she quietly continued her research; making every decision based solely on data and with the patient at the forefront.
WHEN DID SHE START THIS COMPANY?
The company started five years ago and in May 2019, they entered their first formal clinical trial with one of the nation's largest hospital systems. Clinical Trial Link: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03951428?term=menstrual+blood&rank=4
WHY IS SHE INNOVATING WITH THIS PRODUCT OR SERVICE?
During her struggle with cancer, she began researching why she was so disenchanted by her experience with the medical system. Even the most specialized women's health doctors still seemed to operate off of antiquated knowledge. When 2000 studies were analyzed and the finding was over 80% of researchers used only male animals, it was no surprise that the medical community lacked knowledge on women's health. After speaking with hundreds of women, Anna found they were all walking statistics of how much women's health is underrepresented. For instance, 75% of Americans with autoimmune diseases are women, and it takes a person with an autoimmune disease an average of 4.6 years and five doctors before getting a correct diagnosis. The women Anna spoke to were at best in line with these statistics or at worst still struggling for answers while they continued to have health issues. Or 3x as many non-smoking women will get lung cancer than non-smoking men. The women in her current clinical trial are finding hope in Anna's company that they might help women avoid being another unknown reason why the disease affects women differently than men.
USA with a focus on expanding to global communities in which access and affordability is a necessary challenge to overcome
SOCIAL MEDIA: http://linkedin.com/in/annavillarreal