Virta Health – the first company with a treatment to sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes (T2D) without medications or surgery – announced that it has raised $93 million in Series C funding to combat the growing prevalence of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), bringing the total equity funding to $166 million. The funding will enable investing in growth to meet the demand for T2D reversal from employers, health plans, and government, and existing approaches to treating the illness over the past decade have not improved population-level treatment outcomes.
Type 2 diabetes is known as one of the most expensive chronic illnesses in America. And nearly half of U.S. adults have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, and the epidemic is still growing. Plus Virta Health’s announcement comes at a moment when the need for a new approach to diabetes care has never been more apparent.
Virta Health plans to also invest in further prospective research to expand its treatment to other diseases. And Virta’s treatment and novel approach to delivering provider-led remote care is uniquely suited to improve and even resolve a variety of cardiometabolic conditions.
This funding round was led by Caffeinated Capital and includes the participation of key early investors such as Venrock, Obvious Ventures, Creandum, Playground Global, and SciFi VC.
Virta Health has also added 6 key advisors who bring range and depth of directly relevant healthcare experience to Virta:
— Martin Abrahamson, MD — Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School; faculty member at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA; former SVP and Chief Medical Officer of the Joslin Diabetes Center
— Francine Kaufman, MD — Chief Medical Officer of Senseonics, Inc.; former Chief Medical Officer and VP of Global Clinical, Regulatory and Medical Affairs at Medtronic Diabetes; Distinguished Professor Emerita of Pediatrics at USC; Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; former President of the American Diabetes Association
— Alan Moses, MD — former SVP and Global Chief Medical Officer of Novo Nordisk; former SVP and Chief Medical Officer of the Joslin Diabetes Center
— Peter Andruszkiewicz — former CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island
— Hassan Azar — former SVP of Total Rewards at US Foods
— Steve Martin — former CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska
Virta Health, which is a licensed medical provider in all 50 states, saw significant growth in 2019 with a 200% increase in its customer base. And key additions came from Fortune 100 employers, leading health plans and large government organizations, including Blue Shield of California and its 3.7 million members, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which covers over 1 million veterans living with T2D.
Virta’s growth coincides with additional research showing that traditional treatments are doing nothing to slow the T2D epidemic. And a study published in August 2019 by JAMA Internal Medicine concluded that advances in diabetes care over the past decade have not translated into meaningful improvement in population-level treatment outcomes between 2005-2016.
Meanwhile, Virta’s peer-reviewed 2-year study published in June 2019 revealed sustained diabetes reversal, reducing HbA1c below the diagnostic threshold for T2D while eliminating diabetes-specific medications in 55% of two-year completing patients. And insulin use declined by 81% from baseline across the population.
“This latest funding is validation for the consistency and durability of our health and economic outcomes in both clinical trial and commercial patients. We can now invest more into growth to help millions of people living with type 2 diabetes, while also investing in product and research to address other diseases.”
— Sami Inkinen, Virta Health’s co-founder and CEO
“The health outcomes Virta delivers for people with type 2 diabetes are unmatched in the absence of medications or surgery, and particularly noteworthy for the level of control achieved while eliminating medications. What is even more exciting is that Virta’s care delivery model has transformational potential for a variety of conditions beyond diabetes.”
— Dr. Alan Moses, new Virta advisor and former Senior Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer of Novo Nordisk
“Since joining Virta, my A1c has improved nearly two points and is now in the normal range, and I no longer need any diabetes medications. Being free from the twice-daily insulin injections and dramatically improving my health and wellbeing has been life-changing, and I am grateful every day for the VA’s partnership with Virta.”
— Virta patient and U.S. Air Force Veteran Ron Hale