Funding follows strong 2019 growth and publication of peer-reviewed evidence, and coincides with the addition of industry leaders to advisory board
SAN FRANCISCO, California: Virta Health, the first company with a treatment to sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes (T2D) without medications or surgery, today announced that it has raised $93 million in Series C funding to combat the growing prevalence of T2D, bringing the total equity funding to $166 million. Funding will enable investing in growth to meet the demand for T2D reversal from employers, health plans and government, as existing approaches to treating the illness over the past decade have not improved population-level treatment outcomes.
Type 2 diabetes is one of the most expensive chronic illnesses in America. Nearly half of U.S. adults have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, and the epidemic is still growing. 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 will also invest in further prospective research to expand its treatment to other diseases. Virta’s treatment and novel approach to delivering provider-led remote care are uniquely suited to improve and even resolve a variety of cardiometabolic conditions.
The round was led by San Francisco-based Caffeinated Capital and includes the participation of key early investors such as Venrock, Obvious Ventures, Creandum, Playground Global and SciFi VC.
“This latest funding is validation for the consistency and durability of our health and economic outcomes in both clinical trial and commercial patients,” said Sami Inkinen, Virta Health’s co-founder and CEO. “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.”
Virta Health has also added six 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
“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,” said Dr. Alan Moses, new Virta advisor and former Senior Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer of Novo Nordisk. “What is even more exciting is that Virta’s care delivery model has transformational potential for a variety of conditions beyond diabetes.”
Virta Health, a licensed medical provider in all 50 states, saw significant growth in 2019 with a 200% increase in its customer base. 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. A study published in August 2019 by JAMA Internal Medicine concludes that “advances in diabetes care over the past decade have not translated into meaningful improvement in population-level treatment outcomes” between 2005 and 2016.
Meanwhile, Virta’s peer-reviewed two-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. Insulin use declined by 81% from baseline across the population.
“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,” said Virta patient and U.S. Air Force Veteran Ron Hale. “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.”
About Virta Health
Virta Health provides the first treatment to safely and sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery. Among enrolled patients in our clinical trial at one year, 60% achieved diabetes reversal and 94% of insulin users reduced or eliminated usage altogether. Results extend beyond diabetes reversal to other areas of metabolic and cardiovascular health, with sustained improvements in blood pressure, inflammation, liver function, and BMI. For enterprises, Virta puts 100% of its fees at risk and can reduce medical prescription costs by more than 70% in year 1 alone. Delivered through Virta’s novel continuous remote care platform, the Virta Treatment provides unparalleled medical and behavioral support and is transforming the lives of people living with type 2 diabetes. To learn more, visit us at www.virtahealth.com or follow us on Twitter @virtahealth.