Seed’s Latest Launch Is a Suppository That Promotes a Healthy Vaginal Microbiome

Seed’s latest launch wants to help takers establish a healthy vaginal microbiome.

The product, VS-01 Vaginal Synbiotic, continues on Seed’s microbiome-oriented product lineup. The brand is best known for its DS-01 Synbiotic. VS-01, a suppository, is the brand’s first non-gut-focused launch. It launches Tuesday.

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The Seed team saw a significant opportunity to address the vaginal microbiome.

“Your vaginal microbiome, very similar to your gut, is constantly shifting in response to a plethora of disruptors, everything from sex and menstruation, to diet to stress, to exercise to even waxing,” said Ara Katz, Seed cofounder and co-chief executive officer. “Just by living life, your vagina is susceptible to imbalances.”

To develop the product, the company tapped into more than 15 years of research conducted by vaginal microbiome scientist Dr. Jacques Ravel. Together, they established a product based around efficacious strains of Lactobacillus crispatus, “which is the hero, bacterium of the vagina…that confers the most stability and maintains the most regulated pH,” according to Katz.

“The marker of a healthy gut microbiome is diversity and abundance of diverse microbes. The vagina is actually the opposite, which is you want low diversity, and you want it to be dominated by…Lactobacillus crispatus,” she said, adding that not all forms of the bacteria are created equally.

Seed VS-01 Vaginal Synbiotic with applicator.
Seed VS-01 Vaginal Synbiotic with applicator.

Through its research, Seed’s team screened more than 600 strains of Lactobacillus crispatus, landing on three proprietary versions used in the VS-01 formula. In addition, the product includes prebiotics that act as a nutrient source for the strains to colonize, the company said.

The product is first sold as a Two-Month Starter Kit, $99, that includes the Month 1 Reset and the Month 2+ Sustain.

“Month 1 is this intensive reset. It’s six tablets taken at various time points throughout the month prior to your menstrual cycle [if menstruating]…that, basically within 21 days, rapidly establishes the optimal vaginal microbiome, which means that Lactobacillus crispatus engrafts and colonizes and becomes the dominant and stable microbe in the vagina,” Katz said.

Afterward, users will use two tablets monthly on Day One and Day 14 to maintain the microbes and combat stressors. Users will be able to purchase Sustain refills for $39 per month.

In its first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, which will be presented at the 2024 annual conference of the Infectious Diseases Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology, Seed found 90 percent of participants established a healthy vaginal microbiome within 21 days. The company is currently enrolling for its second randomized clinical trial, which will include 200 participants.

In terms of who this product is for, Katz said there’s a broad spectrum of consumers who can benefit.

“There’s an entire spectrum of needs. There’s people who [have] had recurring, ongoing lifetime of issues and experiences of discomfort and negative outcomes when it comes to their vaginal health,” she said. “Then, of course, there’s people on the other end of the spectrum…[focused on] increasing the health span and being much more proactive about health.”

Seed VS-01 Vaginal Synbiotic with applicator.
Seed VS-01 Vaginal Synbiotic with applicator.

“You only have to spend about five seconds on Reddit to know how desperate so many women are to be able to find solutions that are long term, sustainable [and] have no side effects,” she said. “The opportunity here is pretty extraordinary.”

For Katz, this product is also coming at an important time in history for women.

“Where we are in society right now, there are a lot of factors that I think, as women, we feel are working backward, particularly as it relates to our bodily autonomy and our health,” she said. “To be bringing this into the world, particularly [at] this moment in history, is very, very important.”

The company isn’t just championing women’s health with this product. This past weekend Seed puts its money where its mouth is by reinstating billboards in Times Square of chef and content creator Molly Baz for breastfeeding company Swehl, after they were deemed inappropriate and taken down.

The brand declined to share sales figures for the launch or the company, but sources have identified Seed as a key wellness brand. Furthermore, WWD recently reported that the company is said to have hired Jefferies to explore deal options, but both parties declined to comment at the time.

In terms of what’s next for the company, new launches are on the way, including one later this year coming out of Seed’s gut microbiome program. Katz also said that more will be coming in the way of the vaginal microbiome. Seed’s other research programs, where products are ultimately born, include focuses like the skin microbiome and the gut-brain axis.

“Our mission and vision has always been to translate pioneering microbiome discovery into life changing health innovation,” Katz said.