Virta Health, a startup that is taking a software approach to treating diabetes rather than pills or injections, has raised $45 million in funding to support its technology.
San Francisco-based Virta says its software “reverses” diabetes through behavioral changes that reduce the biological measures of the disease. The company’s software platform, accessible via a mobile app, helps the patient track blood sugar, carbohydrate intake, and other indicators. The Virta starter kit includes a scale, blood pressure cuff, and glucose meter that automatically upload data to the Virta app. The platform also provides clinicians and caregivers real-time access to the data so that they can provide additional guidance and support.
Virta unveiled its technology last year, along with $37 million in funding. At that time, the startup pointed to published clinical data from a Virta-funded study showing that after 10 weeks, the software reduced or eliminated the need to take insulin in 87 percent of patients.
Now, Virta has peer-reviewed data after one year. The open-label study conducted in Lafayette, IN, enrolled 349 patients in two groups, one whose diabetes was treated with the Virta software and a second group that received standard diabetes care. According to results published this month in Diabetes Care, after one year, patients using the software had lower biological indicators of diabetes, lost weight, and reduced their use of diabetes medication. The patients receiving traditional care saw no such changes. Virta estimates that its software can save an average of $9,600 in medical care and drug costs per patient in the first two years of use.
With the new cash, Virta says it will ramp up its efforts to commercialize the technology through partnerships with employers and health plans. The company also says it will conduct more research.
The Series B round of funding added new investors Founders Fund and Playground Global to the syndicate backing Virta. Earlier investors Venrock, Obvious Ventures, Creandum, Caffeinated Capital, and SciFi VC also participated in the latest financing.
Here’s more on Virta’s approach to treating diabetes.
—Photo by Virta Health