Truvian Sciences has snagged $27.1 million in a Series B financing, with the funds expected to support the development of an automated benchtop system that provides lab-accurate results in 20 minutes for a full suite of health tests from a small sample of blood.
The Series B financing was led by GreatPoint Ventures, with participation from DNS Capital and Tao Capital Partners. Existing investor, Domain Associates, also participated. This latest cash injection brings Truvian’s total funding to $46.3 million.
A disruptor in healthcare
Jeff Hawkins, President and Chief Executive Officer of Truvian, described the company as a disruptor in healthcare, saying that the growth of the startup was due to consumers refusing to accept the status quo of healthcare.
Hawkins said consumers were “saying no to expensive tests, inconvenient appointments and little to no access to their own test results. In parallel, retail pharmacies are rising to fill demand, becoming affordable health access points. By bringing accurate, on-site blood testing to convenient sites, we will give consumers a more seamless experience and enable them to act on the vast medical insights that come with regular blood tests.”
Following the Series B financing, Truvian announced that Katherine Atkinson would be joining the company as Chief Commercial Officer. Atkinson previously served as Chief Commercial Officer at Epic Sciences, was Vice President of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships at Edico Genome, and held leadership roles at Illumina. The company also announced that industry veteran Paul Meister would be joining its board of directors.
Ashok Krishnamurthi, Managing Partner at GreatPoint Ventures, the lead investor in Truvian’s Series B financing, said that with the latest injection of funds, the company was in a position of strength as it moved toward an FDA submission for its benchtop system in 2020.
“GreatPoint is committed to helping build transformational companies and chose to invest in Truvian due to the company’s truly disruptive technology, as well as its leadership of executives with proven success in healthcare, diagnostics, and consumer technology,” Krishnamurthi said.
What Truvian does
In addition to an FDA submission, Truvian is also working on obtaining a CE Mark in the European Economic Area.
Truvian is working on developing a compact and automated system that can run a series of lab tests on a single blood sample in about 20 minutes. It is designed for doctors’ offices or retail setting and will deliver results to clinicians and patients digitally. Additionally, Truvian aims to use dry reagents, which are shelf stable at room temperature.
Truvian’s platform combines combines chemistries, immunoassays, and hematology assays in one device. The company said that until now, there had been no single on-site diagnostic platform covering such a wide range of analytes while providing accuracy that rivals off-site labs. Such a combination is unique but required to perform all standard assessment blood tests needed during a routine check-up, it said.
“By developing an accurate, convenient and affordable alternative to off-site labs, Truvian is poised to raise the bar for consumers by providing them with immediate insights to inform their healthcare decisions,” Krishnamurthi said.
With the promise of providing results in 20 minutes and on-site testing, Truvian’s platform could see a reduction in the costs of blood testing.
It is estimated that by the end of 2019 the global health self-monitoring technology market will reach $19 billion.
Parallels with dissolved Theranos
Inevitably though, parallels are going to be drawn between Theranos Inc., a blood testing company that was dissolved last year, and Truvian. Theranos’ platform was based on collecting just one sample of blood compared to Truvian’s seven.
“We don’t believe that [a] single drop of blood from a finger stick can do everything. Fundamentally, as a company we have built the company with seasoned healthcare leaders,” Hawkins was quoted as saying.
Truvian also insists that it is working on an FDA submission and obtaining a CE Mark, which is markedly different from Theranos, which worked with little regulatory oversight. Theranos had claimed that most of its tests did not need FDA clearance.
You can listen to our podcast on the growth of personalized healthcare through home blood testing.