Housed at the University City Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator, Lia passed a significant hurdle late last year, earning FDA pre-market clearance. The company’s pregnancy test is expected to begin online sales in the U.S. in the middle of this year and in Europe in early 2019.

Housed at the University City Science Center’s Digital Health Accelerator, Lia passed a significant hurdle late last year, earning FDA pre-market clearance. The company’s pregnancy test is expected to begin online sales in the U.S. in the middle of this year and in Europe in early 2019.

The idea and early research for a discreet, sanitary and environmentally friendly pregnancy test began at the University of Pennsylvania’s Masters of Integrated Product Design program. CEO Bethany Edwards co-founded the company in 2015 with several classmates — they saw opportunity in a product that hadn’t seen innovation in decades.

“We spoke with lots of women,” recalls Edwards. “We listened, without judgment, to their stories and experiences. Everything from hiding pregnancy tests in the trash, to taking them in public or office restrooms, to the slew of plastic tests cluttering their bathroom trash cans reminding them of their struggle to conceive. Emotion ranging from disappointment to fear to shame to joy.”

Lia works the same way as plastic, over-the-counter pregnancy tests by looking for the presence of hCG – Human Chorionic Gonadotropin – in urine; it promises a plus-99 percent accuracy rate. The innovation is in the use of biodegradable paper, which is flushable or compostable.

Lia joined the Digital Health Accelerator in October, taking advantage of access to lab space and a network of experts and decision makers providing support and advice. As it prepares to manufacture and commercialize the test, the company is adding staff and beginning preliminary fundraising.

Read the full article here.

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