by Kate Ebbutt
Preventx has begun an expansion into Europe with significant acquisitions in Spain and the Netherlands completed on the 21 June 2021.
Through a powerful tech platform and dedicated laboratory, Preventx empowers people across the UK to easily take control of their health and wellbeing by ordering a self-sampling STI kit online. With over 3 million tests ordered so far, this popular service allows people to safely and discreetly manage their sexual health online.
The acquisition of the leading Spanish STI clinic, Open House, and Dutch leader, Soapoli Online (SPO) is the beginning of plans to build both a Southern and Northern Europe hub, making testing more easily accessible to the public.
Rates in STIs have grown rapidly in the UK and across Europe in recent decades, with Spain seeing a sharp rise in infections like chlamydia. While new cases of HIV have declined, rates in chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis continue to rise, especially among those aged 16-30. Remote self-sampling, where a user receives a testing kit at home, and can safely and confidentially take samples and send them directly for analysis, has been established for many years in the UK.
Commenting on the recent acquisitions the CEO of Preventx, Ruth Poole, said: “The UK is leading the world in normalising online testing as a part of life for sexually active people. These important acquisitions will position Preventx to become the European leader in sexual health, enabling millions more people to access reliable and accessible sexual health services.
“The Netherlands has some of the highest usage of digital health in the world, and in SPO we inherit a strong business and leadership team who will ensure we can springboard into the sexual health market there.
“With Open House’s strong reputation, experienced medical team and laboratory this will enable us to reach people in Spain who experience increasingly high rates of STIs. They will benefit significantly from a rapid growth in digital sexual health services.”
Open House is the largest private STI clinic in Madrid, offering onsite testing, treatment and support from a city-centre location, as well as remote testing and treatment across Spain.
Open House CEO, Pablo Fernandez, said:
“Preventx’s expertise in digital health and digital engagement models aligns with our local knowledge and experience and will allow more users to access sexual health services conveniently, safely and effectively.”
SPO is the largest provider of STI remote self-sampling in the Netherlands, working with private, NGO and public providers. They process around 36,000 tests per year. CEO, Klazien Visser, added “This acquisition will allow us to accelerate our growth and bring a wider range of digital sexual health services to the Dutch market.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic and related challenges in accessing physical clinics and medical services, remote testing rates have doubled, and like other digital health services, this growth is expected to continue.