Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals and the start-up BioSerenity join forces to develop the first connected fabric for the detection and medical monitoring of urinary disorders

Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals and French startup BioSerenity announced the signature of an agreement on the co-development, market access and distribution of connected medical devices for managing urinary incontinence. This agreement follows an initial collaboration phase launched at the end of 2016, during which several connected fabric prototypes were developed by BioSerenity with the assistance of staff from Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals. The new phase of this partnership will concern the manufacture and marketing of a connected fabric that will diagnose, assess and carry out medical monitoring of urinary disorders caused by an overactive bladder. This chronic illness affects almost 20% of men and women over the age of 40, whose daily lives are severely marred by this pathology.

The connected fabric, in underwear form, is worn around the abdominal area. With its biometric sensors recording the various operating parameters of the urinary device, it continuously detects and quantifies the patient’s urinary problems, then forwards the readings recorded on a mobile app to a secure Cloud platform that can be consulted by the urologist for ongoing medical monitoring.

According to the terms of the agreement, Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals will co-finance R&D for this connected device. Subsequently, Pierre Fabre will have exclusive selling rights for the system in France and worldwide. The financial terms were not revealed.

A “win-win” partnership for a revolutionary connected fabric

BioSerenity, which took 1st place at the UroTech Challenge, a hackathon organized by Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals concerning overactive bladder in November 2016, has already attracted the interest of urologists and patients from API (an association that assists patients with incontinence) with its revolutionary device. “Connected fabric offers a unique opportunity to radically change the lives of patients and prescribers. It could provide a more precise diagnosis from readings collected in real life conditions and improve patient comfort during examination, with fewer potential side effects. In terms of the treatment pathway, it’s also simpler and more cost-effective,” explained Xavier Gamé, Professor of Urology at Toulouse University Hospital

Staff from BioSerenity and Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals worked together closely over the last 18 months. BioSerenity concentrated on developing the first prototypes of this connected medical device, by focusing on treatment of urinary disorders and data interpretation. For its part, Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals focused on the device being put into use and integrated into the patient’s treatment pathway to improve quality of life, and also on its added value as a diagnosis and medical monitoring tool for prescribers. The partners are continuing to examine development and market access opportunities for this new medical device to define a suitable business model.

This new agreement will lead to the development of a whole connected range for the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients suffering from various forms of urinary incontinence.

This co-development project is totally consistent with our strategy in Urology. In parallel to our pharmaceuticals, it is indeed important to develop services, tools and solutions that improve comfort of treatment for patients and facilitate the work of prescribers,” stressed Dominique Authié, Director of Operations, France, Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals.

 “We were impressed by the different perspective and creative energy throughout our collaboration with Pierre Fabre Pharmaceuticals, who opened up their pharmaceutical expertise to us. Now, we’re going to work together on getting our connected medical device reimbursed. We’re also going to explore new avenues, for example, in the field of medical artificial intelligence, or open up to new sectors in which Pierre Fabre is a leading player,” added Pierre-Yves Frouin, CEO of BioSerenity.