Szio+ has launched two products including a UTI control supplement, which is made from cranberries.

1 in 2 women have had UTI at some point this Canadian startup wants to change that
Atom Startups Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 17:00

Urinary Tract Infection, more commonly known as UTI, is increasingly becoming common in India, especially among women due to lack of basic sanitation amenities. According to some studies, over 10 million cases of UTI are reported in India.

And this issue is not just in India. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), ‘UTI is the leading cause of morbidity and health care expenditures in persons of all ages’. An estimated 50% of women report having had a UTI at some point in their lives.

When Canada-based Derek’s wife, with a history of UTI faced serious health problems due to UTI while on vacation, it compelled Derek to understand UTIs better and try and do something to avoid this problem that could affect anyone.

“UTIs are the second most common infection seen by Doctors worldwide. It is also one of the most common reason for antibiotic use. In India UTIs are more prevalent because of hydration, hygiene and rising issues of antibiotic resistance amongst other causes,” Derek says.   

He, along with Faraz Nomani founded Szio+ with a vision to empower consumers to suspect-detect-correct their health proactively.  Szio+ launched its first brand ‘Utiva’, which has two products: a rapid urine test strip for early-detection of UTI symptoms in the convenience of one’s home and Utiva Control supplement that it claims a clinically proven to prevent UTIs and recommended by Doctors. 

“Being susceptible to UTIs, the first line of options are typically antibiotics to treat a UTI and daily low dose antibiotics for prevention. In speaking with our Gynecologists, Urologists and UroGynes, we came to understand that not all-natural remedies are effective, and some may provide benefit, but they were in favour of patients using anything to make them feel better. The only natural product with significant data to support it was isolated to the active molecule of the cranberry – Proanthocyanidins (PAC). We learned that 36mg of PAC was the clinically effective dose that would help protect the urinary tract from bacteria such as E. coli from sticking to the tissue and allow for it to be flushed out when urinating,” Faraz says.

Szio+ then began working with a Canadian producer of cranberries to formulate the required concentration of whole cranberry fruit.

Szio+ is now in India as part of T-Hub’s India Canada bridge program to establish its presence here and also help address the UTI problem in India.

“In India we have a very specific patient group to focus on and testing the Utiva portfolio with a hospital network that specializes in caring for those group of patients.  We are currently in talks with three prestigious hospital groups and working with them to establish a centre of excellence for UTI care for their patients,” Faraz says.

With assistance from T-Hub, it has been able to understand the Indian market and reach out to various stakeholders to try and pitch their product to potential customers. “T-Hub also coached us on how to reengineer our business model for India, keeping in mind the importance of localization and being laser focused on a particular customer segment in order to win,” he adds.

Currently, it has a presence across Canada and US and starting to enter other markets. Apart from the two products under the Utiva brand, it has had experience in the areas of temperature care and fertility but now focused in the area of UTIs.

Going forward, it wants to establish its brand in North America and grow its company in India as well as China. Apart from market expansion, it is also looking to launch several new products.

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