Inc.

How I Beat Cancer—While Still Running My Company

SAUNDRA PELLETIER EVOFEM BIOSCIENCES Evofem Biosciences is a pharmaceuticals startup that makes products supporting women’s reproductive health.
RED, ALERT Saundra Pelletier, expressing a characteristically blunt sentiment, at Evofem’s San Diego offices.

In July 2018, Evofem Biosciences founder and CEO Saundra Pelletier learned she had Stage III breast cancer—while her company was in the midst of a Phase 3 clinical trial of Amphora, its nonhormonal contraceptive gel for women. Pelletier embarked on aggressive treatment for her cancer, undergoing chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, a hysterectomy, and an oophorectomy. At the end of 2018, Evofem announced that Amphora was 98.7 percent effective when used as directed, and 86 percent effective in typical use. Pelletier, who never took a leave of absence, now says she is “done with cancer.” She is again appearing at investor conferences, and

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