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.

Virta’s Opportunity

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!

Sami Inkinen
CEO & Founder

19 Comments

  1. Dan Sodergren / www.befreeoftype2d.co.uk April 4, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    Simply amazing well done – if / when you want to come over to the UK. Then I am happy to help – as we have the same mission. You are just 5 years ahead of me 🙂

    Reply

  2. When will there be an opportunity for accredited investors ? I would like to take a stake in the company because I believe in the low carb approach to treating DM2 and I look in your approach.

    Reply

    1. Sami #217 Inkinen April 4, 2018 at 10:23 pm

      Hi Mike, thank you for expressing your interest! While this investment round (Series-B) is now closed, we will likely raise more capital from private or public markets in the future years.
      /sami

      Reply

  3. Jeffrey Fritts, USAF (ret), and Type 2 Diabetic April 4, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    I am a Type 2 Diabetic and was diagnosed as such during my retirement physical in 1997 from our United States Air Force. While the Department of Veterans Affairs has been instrumental in providing quality care and treatment of my diabetes and other associated chronic metabolic disorders they only provide treatment with medication and outdated advice on life choices. You mentioned forming partnerships with many different groups including governmental agencies. Our VA is desperate to control the overwhelming cost of providing care to diabetic Veterans. In fact just this past week I was asked if I would consider changing a medication, associated with my diabetes control, to a different more cost effective solution, saving the VA $1,300 a year. Vitra’s innovative approach could be a potent weapon in the VA’s effort to provide care for diabetic Veterans. Our Veterans deserve this type of innovative care. Has the Virta organization approached the VA? https://www.va.gov/health/NewsFeatures/20111115a.asp

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      This is a great idea, and we would love to work with the VA! We care a lot about veterans. We ran a promotion last year to give some veterans the treatment for free, and we currently have some patients who are veterans. We’re working on more ways to get our treatment to communities who need it, and this additional funding will help our team get there.

      Reply

      1. Jeffrey Fritts April 4, 2018 at 10:53 pm

        I think so too. Please if you once again offer Veterans a special low-cost option or even a free plan count me in. I did apply to Virta for financial assistance and was offered a substantial discount, but the plan required an upfront annual payment that at this time I can not afford. I could commit to an annual contract that would be paid out in monthly installments as offered to other Virta patients, however. I might make an interesting case study. I am an avid cyclist with aspirations to complete RAAM and other ultra-endurance events, but diabetes complicates training for such accomplishments. Please keep me in mind. Jeffrey Fritts, Walla Walla, WA. USAF (Ret)

        Reply

  4. Robert Coberly April 4, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    I am a VA psychiatrist with interest in biochemical aspects of diabetes, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome. I have been practicing a very low carbohydrate diet for about six years, with very beneficial effect on my general health. I was assisted to succeed with the diet from the beginning by the previous publications of doctors Phinney and Volek.
    I altogether agree with Mr.Fritts above, veteran patients have much potential to improve health with a low-CHO approach along with the nutritional coaching that Virta is pioneering. I hope some agreement for pilot trials of this approach could be reached with the VA healthcare system.
    Rob Coberly MD

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      We agree! We have some patients who are veterans who have been very successful, and we’d love to help more veterans improve their health.

      Reply

  5. I am a pre-diabetic, was diagnosed three years ago. I saw Dr. Sarah Halberg on facebook, learned I could manage it and all my numbers are in control. My Dr. agrees LCHF WORKS! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL THE INFORMATION! I have been great for three years now with no medication just good diet because OF Dr. Halberg sharing her precious time to teach me what I needed to do!

    Reply

  6. The ADA must be quaking in their boots. They have no interest in reversing T2 diabetes. The are into “maintenance,” which keeps their Big Pharma friends fat and happy. What a joke

    Reply

  7. Flowersandmtns April 5, 2018 at 4:27 am

    I was curious about the statement “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”

    How was that calculated? A current T2D patient would have Dr/NP visits of whatever frequency, dietician visits and possibility phone support. Some of that would be replaced by the VIRTA medical team support via telemedicine but some in office checkups would still be needed, at least initially when changes seem to be most rapid. Largely the medical costs I expect would decrease and some would switch over to your care teams.

    Then the issue of the medication cost, that would be a clearer number and from your clinical trials one that only results in a decrease of varying amounts.

    One the one hand, insurance companies would be interested in the savings but on the other hand there are groups that will see less profit…

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Thanks for your question! To model the annual healthcare costs for individuals with diabetes, we developed a statistical model based on data published in peer-reviewed literature and from our own clinical trial. We then simulated the annual healthcare costs for each patient over 2 years. The projected savings assume no change in spending without the Virta Treatment, which the clinical trial supports as the usual care group saw no improvements in health outcomes during the year and in fact, saw an increase in medication use and no improvements in medical outcomes during the year. Approximately 32% of total cost savings are pharmacy costs, and the remainder are medical (including both inpatient and outpatient costs, including; inpatient hospitalization, physician services,
      clinical laboratory services, ambulance services, and the use of durable medical equipment associated with outpatient visits).

      Reply

      1. Wow! Thank you for your reply.

        I hope the company and project continues to make inroads with patients, medical professionals and insurance companies. I am so sad that the usual care group “saw an increase in medication use and no improvements in medical outcomes during the year.” when it does’t have to go like that.

        Another question — what’s the long term support plan for patients if they reach remission of their T2D?

        Reply

        1. Virta Health

          We give education and support to patients past the remission mark so that they can continue to achieve their health goals and maintain their success. That being said, many patients will choose not be in the Virta treatment for their entire lifetime.

          Reply

  8. Steve Peabody April 6, 2018 at 4:59 pm

    I like the Vita health platform I was wondering would your company would have any value in the device my company developed Vocare.com

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Your device looks very useful! There is some overlap between your device and the biomarkers we track, but there are a few we track that your device does not support.

      Reply

  9. How about this? If you have a veteran that can provide proper documention of such status that you give them a sizable discount?

    Now you may laugh at this but by the time the paperwork and hearings and all the pockets get stuffed with promise’s and lies it’ll take years for “VETERANS” to get into a program like yours. And please don’t post that it can’t be DONE.

    I am a type 2 diabetic and take januvia, metformin, and glipazide. I made it my mission to reverse this situation and do away with the med’s altogether. It can be done. The ADA will not admit it because then there cushy paychecks will be allot less. Its the same with cancer, theres a cure its just that if its released the fat cats loose there income and perks.

    Just my 10 cent’s.
    Semper Fi

    Reply

  10. Hopeful Hospital Nurse April 11, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    I’m a nurse, and your figure of $9,600 over the first two years seems modest to me. The decrease in medication cost over two years is a drop in the bucket when considering the long-term sequelae of diabetes. I would expect gargantuan cost savings, both in dollars & human suffering, as you track your patients who have halted or reverseved the progression, and compare them against those receiving standard care over longer periods of time. “The projected savings assume no change in spending without the VIRTA treatment…” Of course, the spending continues to climb over the years in diabetic patients following usual care.
    I see the painful, debilitating, expensive complications of diabetes everyday: cardiovascular disease & events, neuropathy, non-healing wounds & ulcers, vascular bypasses, amputations, infections, gastroparesis, retinopathy, end stage renal disease requiring dialysis (or kidney transplant for the “lucky”).
    I’m beyond thrilled that VIRTA is here to offer an alternative to the ADA recommendations. Insurance companies must be able to calculate what kind of savings they’ll see. I look forward to the days when most diabetics have access to your program, and the terrible suffering that comes with diabetes progression is something medical professionals see rarely, instead of daily.

    Reply

    1. Virta Health

      Thank you so much for your support! We’re excited to expand access to our treatment.

      Reply

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