Why We Started
Privi Medical was co-founded by Prusothman S. Raja, Benjamin C.K. Tee (PhD), and Dr. Rena Dharmawan (MD, MMed Surgery). Their journey began when they were selected for the highly competitive Stanford Byer’s Center for Biodesign Innovation Program. As Biodesign Fellows, they labored over many months to investigate unmet clinical needs within the gastrointestinal space. It was during this period that they came to realize there’s a lot of hemorrhoid sufferers and the current solutions are absymal.
“We noticed that a high number of the patients in the gastrointestinal and colorectal clinics were hemorrhoid sufferers. We were taken aback as we had the misconception that hemorrhoid symptoms are relatively mild. When we spoke to the sufferers we quickly realized that this was not true. The disease was affecting their lives quite severely,” says Dr. Tee.
“…none of the common treatments like oral medication, ointments or suppositories have proven to work … the use of these drug-based products, which contain active ingredients such as corticosteroids and epinephrine, may actually cause long term harm” Dr Dharmawan
Privi Medical Co-Founders (from left): Dr Rena Dharmawan, Prusothman S. Raja, Dr Benjamin Tee
Privi Medical Pte Ltd
After carefully investigating the hundreds of various clinical needs that were identified during their research, the team decided to pursue the hemorrhoid need. The team was compelled by the silent suffering of the many patients that they had interviewed. The team chose to focus on earlier stage hemorrhoids, which aren’t suitable for surgery.
“Treatment of early stage hemorrhoids is truly an unmet clinical need. There are simply no good solutions. The most common treatments are drug-based oral medication, ointments or suppositories. None of these treatments have been proven to work. Furthermore, the use of these drug-based products, which contain active ingredients such as corticosteroids and epinephrine, may cause long term harm” says Dr.Dharmawan.
The team was driven to develop a product that’s safe, effective and easy to use. “We knew early on that we need to develop a product that is drug-free, comfortable and effective at reducing hemorrhoids. That was how InstaliefTM was born” says Prusothman.