GE Ventures-backed Drawbridge Health is set to partner with biomarker test developer Thorne Research to allow the wellness company to use its pain-free blood collection device in its personalized programs. Drawbridge Health was launched in November, and hopes to get 510(k) clearance for its device from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after conducting clinical trials.
Fed up with time-consuming and inconvenient blood draws, the people behind Drawbridge developed a handheld medical device which pricks the skin of the upper arm to collect just a few drops of blood. The sample is then absorbed by a strip of paper contained inside the device, which acts to chemically stabilize the blood without the need for refrigeration.
Using its blood biomarker tests, Thorne Research develops customized diet and exercise plans for individuals, including a list of recommended supplements. The company also founded a spin-off, WellnessFX, which uses an app to connect consumers with genetic and microbiome testing services. The results of these tests are then discussed with patients using a telehealth platform to help them understand their risks of certain diseases based on biomarkers.
Thorne Research plans to invest millions in Drawbridge Health in exchange for exclusive US distribution and commercialization rights to future Drawbridge-created devices. In addition, Paul Jacobson, CEO of Thorne Research will join the board of directors for Drawbridge.
With genetic testing companies like 23andMe seeing success in the consumer health market, others are looking to get a piece of the action.
“There’s an interesting subset of the market: specialty diagnostics, companies that are addressing reproductive health, chronic disease management, genetic testing, wellness,” said Drawbridge Health CEO Lee McCracken. “They’re already running samples, looking for a better experience that’s easier for a patient or consumer of diagnostics.”