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Investing in Vital Bio: A New Frontier in Diagnostics
Reimagining lab testing to enable radically accessible care.
The promise of convenient, personalized point-of-care diagnostics has been an entrepreneurial pursuit riddled with turbulence and negative headlines. There is no denying that Elizabeth Holmes muddied the waters for any founding team chasing this dream post-Theranos, creating an aversion to the space for many stewards of capital.
However, as we sit here almost a decade removed from the infamous acts of fraud, there is no shortage of founding teams chasing the concept of “Theranos that works” given the promise it holds across the whole health spectrum - from driving preventative wellness all the way through providing higher oversight within at-risk arrangements. Without failure, learning is impossible, and what better team to leverage these learnings than the world-class team at Vital Bio.
When you look at the backgrounds and experience of Vital Bio’s leadership, you will see classically-trained research scientists from top institutions such as Harvard, Scripps, Berkeley, UWaterloo, UToronto and industry veterans that have successfully launched products at Abbott, Roche, Siemens, Luminex, Abaxis, Invetech, Terumo, Genmark, Thermo Fisher, Ilumina, IDEXX, and Quanterix.
From Day 1, the team’s focus has been on the science and engineering, acknowledging that the ultimate success of the company will come down to the performance of the device and the clinical impact it has on doctors and patients. We are thrilled to partner with Vasu Nadella, Mounir Koussa, Iman Khodadad and Farnoud Kazemzadeh as they tackle this mighty endeavor.
To the Vital Bio team, reimagining diagnostics never required the futuristic leap to immediate results from a single drop of blood. The initial goal for their flagship device, coined the VitalOne, is to work with smaller amounts of blood in a way that’s convenient and accessible at the point-of-care.
The VitalOne is a spectacle, combining advancements in chemistry, microfluidics, computer vision, robotics and optics into a single device. Using an automated microfluidics workflow, the instrument runs three subsystems in parallel (hematology, clinical chemistry, and immunoassays) while the platform quantifies a full panel of biomarkers using on-board optical readers, automated sample preparation and measurement procedures that require minimum user input.
With just 600 uL of blood, the VitalOne quantifies 50+ of the most commonly requisitioned biomarkers in primary care in 20 minutes without compromising on analytical performance. The team is building a comprehensive menu that it will cover 100% of tests needed for at least 90% of patients.
By doing this, the VitalOne enables providers to test, diagnose and treat in the same room, during the same visit - eliminating the need to ship samples to a centralized lab or require patients to travel to external draw sites.
The VitalOne also offers an ancillary revenue stream for providers who face material margin compression as their panels shift away from more lucrative commercial rates as the older adult population booms.
We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the Vital Bio team as they set out to close gaps in care, accelerate clinical decision making and improve the labs experience for patients by bringing diagnostics to the point-of-care.
It's been a pleasure to witness their maniacal focus on driving innovation within an essential category marred by historical challenges, and we feel strongly that this team will rewrite the narrative of success within the industry.
We are joined by Sam Altman, Lachy Groom, Northpond Ventures, 8VC, LabCorp and other value-add investors who share the vision of making healthcare radically more personalized, proactive, and accessible.
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