Today, we announced a $45 million Series B funding round, bringing our total equity raised to $75 million. I am pleased and honored that all of our key existing investors—Venrock, Obvious Ventures, Creandum, Caffeinated Capital, and Max Levchin’s SciFi VC, among others—doubled down to help us accelerate our growth. I’m also excited to welcome Founders Fund and Playground Global as new investors. I want to thank all of our investors for supporting our mission of reversing diabetes in 100 million people by 2025. We’ve made significant progress over the last few years, but it’s still Day One for our team at Virta!
Looking back, here are a few things we’ve accomplished so far:
- Delivered exceptional clinical trial outcomes demonstrating that we can systematically reverse and sustain type 2 diabetes reversal on a population level (60% diabetes reversal and 83% patient retention past 1 year)
- Proved that the Virta Treatment also improves or reverses four other chronic conditions: inflammation, obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular risk
- Created a technology platform that allows intelligent, continuous remote care by our licensed physicians in all 50 U.S. states
- Replicated our diabetes reversal outcomes in thousands of commercial patients (outside of our clinical trial) across the nation
- Signed and launched strong partnerships with enterprises, including employers and insurance companies, across the country
- Estimated payer savings of $9,600 (on average across all of our patients with T2 diabetes) over the first 24 months for each patient on the Virta treatment
- Built an amazing team of almost 100 Virtans, mainly in San Francisco (and yes, we are hiring right now!)
But our investors didn’t join in on this round of funding because of what we’ve done in the past. They did so because they could see where we will go next.
Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly prevalent in the US and globally. According to the latest report on the economic cost of diabetes in the US, the economic burden of type 2 diabetes ballooned to $327 billion and grew by 26% from 2012 to 2017 due to increased prevalence and increased cost per person with diabetes. People tend to think of it as a benign disease—one where ongoing management is sufficient treatment. Yet, according to the ADA, 277,000 premature deaths were attributed to diabetes last year.
The Virta Treatment represents a new standard for diabetes care, and in turn, new hope for people living with this disease that was previously considered chronic and progressive. We’ve now shown that type 2 diabetes can be systematically and sustainably reversed.
It’s not only diabetes that we are addressing. Beyond the 60% 1-year reversal rates demonstrated in our clinical trial, our peer-reviewed results also showed substantial improvement in obesity, blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and inflammation. Given the novelty of our care model and the efficacy of our treatment for multiple chronic metabolic diseases, we believe we can make a meaningful dent in at least one third of the approximately $3 trillion in annual US health care spend.
Day One: What’s Next?
Scaling the Virta Treatment to millions of people requires investment in nearly every area of our business. Technology will play a central role, and improving our capabilities in machine learning and AI will make our outcomes even better while providing the foundation for growth. That’s why we are hiring experienced product, engineering, data science and clinical team members (see open roles here).
On the commercial side, we’ve been extremely pleased with our patient and enterprise partner growth since our public launch just 12 months ago. We are also investing in our commercialization team to form additional partnerships with employers, health plans and government. Our goal is simple: every person living with type 2 diabetes should have (free) access to the Virta Treatment.
Finally, as a science and evidence-based company, we are also investing more into research and just extended our landmark clinical trial to five years.
I see a tremendous opportunity to rethink what medical treatment can be for millions of people who have seemingly “irreversible” chronic diseases. I couldn’t be more excited for the future, and am grateful to everyone, most importantly our patients, who continue to support us on this journey. If you are interested in joining us, whether as a patient or team member, please reach out!
CEO & Founder