Instacart CEO launches women's health startup

Fidji Simo, former head of the Facebook app and current CEO of Instacart, is making waves in the healthcare world with a new startup focusing on women's health, Fortune reported Oct 4.

Ms. Simo has helped launch the Metrodora Institute, a for-profit clinic with a nonprofit research and advocacy foundation arm. When she started experiencing symptoms of endometriosis and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, she found experiences with physicians disheartening. 

Ms. Simo told Fortune, "I went to see this neurologist. He said, 'Sweetie, you're just a tired mom,' It was infuriating." 

It was at the Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic that she was able to get a full diagnosis and was introduced to co-founder Laura Pace, MD, PhD. 

To address the inequities in women's health, the Metrodora Institute aims to integrate neurology, gastroenterology and immunology knowledge and therapies to treat a range of women's health issues. The clinic's stated vision is to disrupt the status quo by using innovative research and patient-centered focus to unravel the mystery of why neuroimmune disorders disproportionately affect women. 

"If you start believing women, and you start believing that they're not crazy every time they say they have pain somewhere, you can improve health outcomes," Ms. Simo told Fortune.

The institute has raised more than $15 million in grants and private funding, lined up five physicians to join the clinic and leased two floors in a Salt Lake City office building. The foundation recently added Anthony Philippakis, MD, PhD, of the Broad Institute and Carol Suh of ARCH Ventures to the board. The clinic is set to open in June 2022, according to its website.

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