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This week, I'm excited to share what I think is one of the most fascinating companies that is currently raising a round of crowdfunding. Using technology to transform healthcare, Predictiv is bringing a solution to market that has the potential to significantly change how doctors diagnose and treat thousands of diseases, even when symptoms are nonexistent.
Being that Predictiv is the first to bring tech of this kind to market, I wanted to use this week's deep dive to break down the opportunity at hand and dig into the massive problem that it's addressing. After speaking last week with Predictiv's COO, Alex Rochegude, I was able to expand on some of the company's most recent progress and even include a couple of exciting updates that have received little to no attention on its Republic offering page. That being the case, if you're already familiar with Predictiv and something in this overview doesn't look right, I can assure you that it all reflects the most up-to-date information.
Let's get to it.
The future of medicine
For centuries, caregiving has been confined primarily to the diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of diseases and illnesses. What health professionals have lacked, even with the newest wonders of modern medicine, are widely implementable tools that can help them provide preventative care rather than reactive treatment.
“You cannot prevent rain, but the forecast can prevent you from getting wet. We do the same for your health” – Sajung Yun, Co-founder and CEO
- This is the problem that Predictiv has set out to solve. Using DNA Next Generation sequencing, Predictiv has created a first-of-its-kind solution that sequences over 20,000 genes to assess patient risk for more than 22,500 diseases and simulate reactions to a growing library of 750+ drugs.
The problem – a healthcare system that is plagued with chronic diseases
Continuing to grow in size, our aging global population is progressively reflecting the effects of complex chronic diseases. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a person’s risk of succumbing to a chronic disease is linked to their genetics and exposome. A person’s exposome can just be thought of as all of their exposures during life.
Chronic diseases are among the most prevalent and costly health conditions in the U.S. Nearly half of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease, and the number is growing. Chronic diseases are responsible for seven out of ten deaths in the U.S., and more than two thirds of all deaths are caused by one or more of these five chronic diseases: heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes.
- While geneticists and epidemiologists have debated the importance of the two factors, most research has focused on genetic causes and has suggested exposome as a secondary role.
- For some perspective, in 2016, there were 566,685 PubMed citations for the keywords “disease causes AND genetics” compared to 71,922 citations for “disease causes AND exposure”, a ratio of ~8:1.
Making the diagnosis and treatment particularly challenging, chronic conditions often do not exist in isolation. Today, one in four U.S. adults have two or more chronic conditions. As the symptoms of many chronic diseases resemble those of other illnesses, accurately diagnosing and treating these conditions has created a significant challenge.
- According to the CDC, chronic diseases account for approximately 75% of aggregate healthcare spending in the U.S. At 96% and 83%, respectively, an overwhelming majority of Medicare and Medicaid spending is allocated toward the treatment of chronic diseases.
The U.S.’s aging population, combined with existing risk factors (i.e. tobacco use, obesity, etc.) and medical advancements extending life longevity, have led many researchers to believe that these problems will grow if not effectively addressed now.
The challenge to more efficiently care for chronic disease
A recent Milken Institute study estimates that modest reductions in unhealthy behaviors could prevent or delay 40 million cases of chronic illnesses per year. The same study suggested that at today’s rate the treatment of the seven most common chronic diseases, combined with productivity losses, will cost the U.S. economy more than $1 trillion annually.
Without advanced solutions, the challenge doctors face is convincing their patients to blindly follow their instruction to take preventative steps today for diseases that they won’t experience until tomorrow. The choices we make today directly influence our health tomorrow. But because we can’t directly see the impact of these choices, it becomes much easier to think that we are healthy, when in reality we are not. By the time our decisions from months, years, or even decades ago catch up with us, it’s too late for preventative care.
- Effectively diagnosing and managing chronic diseases is vital to avoiding hospitalizations, serious complications, and the costs associated with ongoing chronic illnesses. The importance of this in reducing the ballooning health care costs that are burdened upon all of us cannot be overstated.
Hinging on identifying those at risk, effective chronic disease management requires real-time data and the ability to create actionable insights. When doctors are armed with accurate information and can provide appropriate guidance that is uniquely curated to fit the needs of each individual patient, the narrative of diagnosing and treating a disease changes dramatically.
- For example, there is no denying that a poor diet combined with a lack of exercise will lead to an increased risk of deteriorated health down the road. This is a simple fact that most everyone has heard on numerous occasions. Despite this warning, many individuals choose not to heed this advice, or advice like it, until it’s too late.
- This is the situation we find ourselves in now. For the most part, chronic disease is being treated with reactive care rather than preventative care.
Predictiv's preventative care solution
According to Predictiv, 15% of all cancers have an inherited susceptibility, 12% of all hospital admissions come as a result of genetic causes, and 10% of all chronic diseases have a genetic component.
Powered by its artificial intelligence database, Predictiv has created what it believes to be the future of medicine. By extracting DNA from just a fingernail/toenail sample, Predictiv creates an individual’s “DNA digital twin”. Using DNA Next Generation sequencing, it aggregates more than 20,000 of the individual’s genes and assesses their risk level for more than 22,500 diseases. In addition, it also simulates their reaction to over 750 drugs.
- According to the World Health Association, 55 million people die each year. With preventative care, it’s time to begin asking how many of those deaths could have been delayed, or even prevented.
Having spent four years developing its genome sequencing engine, Predictiv is ready to equip doctors and patients with information that’s never before been available to them. This unprecedented level of insight doesn’t just inform patients what they’re at risk for. It importantly empowers them to take preventative steps and make altered lifestyle choices according to their newfound information. In some cases, it may even allow physicians to recommend preventative drug prescriptions.
- With technological advancements and twenty-first-century medicine, reactive care is no longer enough. We have a population that is aging, living longer and experiencing chronic illnesses at an increasing rate. We need more data-based evidence and less guesswork in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with chronic disease. This is what Predictiv has set out to achieve.
Made available to customers in Q2 2021, Predictiv’s genomic pipeline identifies hereditary predispositions for diseases and drugs. With a planned rollout sometime next year, its AI Engine will integrate a patient’s genomic data with their medical data (ECG, bloodwork, microbiome, etc.) for even more precise output. In order to make this happen, Predictiv has signed partnerships with companies such as Kayan Health, Patientory, etc. who will supply them with the necessary supplementary patient data.
- Predictiv covers 100% of diseases and drugs known to have a genetic relationship (more than 22,500 and 750, respectively, as of today). And because its solution is fully automated, it is constantly integrating the latest scientific findings in the tests it runs for each individual. To give you an idea of how significant this actually is, at the beginning of the year Predictiv was testing for ~16,000 diseases and simulating reactions to approximately 300 drugs. Just a few months later, it’s now testing for over 22,000 diseases and simulating reactions to more than 750 drugs.
- With Predictiv’s technology, doctors can detect diseases earlier than they would ever otherwise be able to, diagnose underlying diseases, determine the appropriately adjusted dosages, determine the optimal drug delivery method (IV, Oral), and receive monthly updates with real-time medical findings that may impact the patient.
The future of healthcare
The U.S. spends roughly $4 billion on healthcare each year, nearly double that of other developed nations. Despite this massive spend, Americans aren’t paying for a higher level of care. They’re paying for the inefficiencies of our healthcare system.
Introducing smart health technology is the key to accelerating the transition from reactive care to preventative care. In the very early innings of this transition, many advancements have already begun to take shape. Among the most significant is the growing accumulation of data within virtually every corner of healthcare.
- Just to name a few of its shortcomings, reactive care has led to countless unnecessary hospitalizations, physician’s visits, and serious complications.
- An industry that is ripe with potential, smart health AI technology will usher in a new era of healthcare. Leveraging technology and investing in the latest preventative care solutions will drastically change how doctors make decisions and deliver care. Together, doctors and technology will be able to shift the narrative from reactive care to preventative care.
After receiving its first test kits at the end of February, it didn’t take long to turn them around and get them back out the door to eagerly awaiting customers. Around the same time, Predictiv signed its first major contracts with more than 200 hospitals and over 3,300 physicians in Asia.
Following the signing of its first major contract, Predictiv has reportedly been in advanced discussions with over 300 clinics and 40,000 healthcare professionals, with some clients already signing memorandums of understanding. In addition, the Predictiv team indicated in February that it was in discussion with more than 30 prominent organizations (healthcare providers, telemedicine companies, etc.).
- It is now working on the deployment and training for this contract, which it plans to have completed this summer.
Predictiv launched its B2C preorders in just the last couple of months and it began sending out its first solutions at the beginning of May. According to the team, it has already generated $20,000 in revenue from these kits.
- The team has also indicated their expectation for the company to begin generating its first B2B revenue in June.
For $790, customers will receive a Predictiv kit and a lifetime digital twin. Once the digital twin is built, Predictiv stores the data and updates it in real-time to ensure the customer and their physician can continue to drawback on it over time. The kit can be prescribed or recommended by a health expert, or it can be purchased online directly from Predictiv.
In addition to its existing digital twin solution, Predictiv will also soon be introducing the beta version of its nutrition solution – personalized vitamin and supplement recommendations. Finalizing the beta 3 months ahead of schedule, it is now expected to be released in the coming weeks. The solution will be included free of charge in all digital twins ordered before the end of June.
- Comparing the price to its competitors, the Predictiv team laid it out as follows: “a genetic test for breast or colon cancer usually costs between $2,000 and $4,000 (excluding the consultation with a physician). To test several diseases in a preventive medicine context, packages range today from $8,000 to $50,000. Because the whole analysis process is automated, we are able to provide our solution for only $790 for 100% of the diseases known to have genetic components.”
- According to Predictiv, health insurance already pays for genetic tests when there is a family history of disease. As such, it has opened discussion with some insurance providers and has begun negotiating full coverage of its kit for everyone. It is expecting to have the first partnerships signed next year.
Having just begun to bring in revenue, Predictiv has suggested an 18-month timeline before reaching a breakeven point. On a monthly basis, it needs to sell 300 tests to reach breakeven. In order for this to hold true, it will need to maintain, or improve, its 75% operating margin over time.
- Soon to be announced, Predictiv has signed a significant deal with Quality of Life, a company offering high-quality nutritional products with ingredients that are 100% backed by clinical research. With the partnership, Quality of Life will be able to utilize Predictiv’s nutritional solution to provide more personalized vitamin and supplement recommendations.
Predictiv has forecasted $70 million in revenue by 2024. This figure would represent the selling of 200 digital twins per day. For some perspective, over 10,000 clinical genetic tests are run every day in the U.S.
- Both priced at $790 per test, B2B customers yield the same margin as B2C.
- Predictiv has already surpassed its expectations with the contracts signed thus far, and as a result, indicated its initial assumptions may be overly conservative.
Breaking into an untapped market with no true competitor
As many of you are probably aware, Predictiv isn’t the first company to create a genetic testing product. Companies like Color, Tempus, Invitae, and most notable, 23andMe, have all created their own product.
- Covering over 1,000x more diseases than its closest competitors, none of them come even close to challenging Predictiv’s capabilities.
Similar to Predictiv, Color offers a clinical-grade, data-driven testing solution with the focus of revolutionizing healthcare delivery through genomics testing. Dissimilar to Predictiv, Color is narrowly focused on a much smaller demographic.
Color’s kits can be purchased for just over $250.
- According to Predictiv, Color analyzes 74 genes and tests for less than 20 diseases. In comparison, Predictiv analyzes more than 20,000 genes and tests for over 22,500 diseases.
- Color is specifically focused on identifying an individual’s genetic association with cancer and heart health risk. It also tests for how genes will respond to various medications. It does not, however, disclose how many medications are tested.
Pursuing a similar mission to Color and Predictiv, Tempus is using data and artificial intelligence to enable physicians to deliver personalized care. Differing from both, Tempus is narrowly focused on oncology and personalized treatments against cancers.
While Tempus’s personalized care solution focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of various cancers, Predictiv is more so concentrated on serving its patients in a preventative care role. Predictiv is better suited to prevent diseases and guide physicians for early diagnosis, whereas Tempus is more appropriate for treatment once a diagnosis has been made.
- By analyzing the patient’s DNA and tumor(s), Tempus helps the physician identify the ideal therapy solution.
What probably comes to mind when you think about genetics testing is 23andMe. To start with the biggest difference between Predictiv and 23andMe, Predictiv is a medical-grade solution created primarily to be used by healthcare professionals in a clinical setting.
The first to introduce an at-home genetic testing kit, 23andMe has had tremendous success in helping its customers answer basic ancestry and health-related questions. Where it, and others, have lacked, is in being able to provide a comprehensive picture of a patient’s health.
- Along with its ability to use genetic testing to analyze ancestry, traits, etc., 23andMe also provides a limited number of health predisposition reports. You can check out the full list here. The tests, however, are only capable of reviewing genetic association with a handful of diseases and illnesses.
23andMe’s advanced kit can be purchased for $200.
Use of funds and future financing expectations
With the funds raised from its Reg CF offering, Predictiv’s use of proceeds are as follows:
Predictiv opened its Reg CF round on February 16, 2021. Having raised over $530,000 dollars from 1,000+ investors (as of 5/24/2021), the company has filled roughly half of its $1.07 offering goal. This round is scheduled to close on June 12, 2021.
Should Predictiv fail to raise its full $1 million goal, it will turn to institutional capital to fill out the remaining amount. According to the team, it has already secured $150,000 and is in final discussions with investors who could provide the remaining amount, if needed.
- With a $5,500,000 valuation cap, individuals can invest a minimum of $100 via a Crowd SAFE.
At the end of April, Predictiv also announced that it had been selected to join all three Plug and Play accelerator programs that it applied for. Amongst the 1,500 applicants, Plug and Play’s corporate partners selected 15 companies. Plug and Play is one of the most prestigious accelerator programs in the world that provides startups with meaningful guidance and connections to an extensive list of corporate partners. The three programs that Predictiv will be joining are:
- With the anticipation that its fundraising needs will be oversubscribed, the Predictiv team indicated that most of the ongoing fundraising meetings are being had with investors for a Series A round next year.
In addition to its acceptance into Plug and Play’s prestigious accelerator program, Predictiv has also secured an investment from Plug and Play’s venture arm. An early investor in companies like Dropbox, Course Hero, Lending Club, Guardant Health, and many more, Plug and Play Ventures has accumulated an impressive family of portfolio companies.
- Plug and Play Health (global)
- Plug and Play Thailand (Southeast Asia)
- Plug and Play Abu Dhabi (Middle East)
After receiving the attention of Tim Draper via Republic’s partnership with Draper TV, Predictiv has also received an investment from Draper Associates – Tim Draper’s venture fund. Another active early-stage investor, Draper has invested in some of the most successful startups over the past decade, including Coinbase, Robinhood, SpaxeX, and many more.
Just recently announced, Predictiv has also been included in NASA’s list of top 10 innovators. NASA iTech reaches beyond traditional government partners, soliciting ideas from commercialization-focused companies whose innovations could benefit NASA’s missions or strategic priorities.
- The iTech forum connects innovators with NASA chief technologists, industry experts, and investors. On top of the credibility received as part of being associated with such a prestigious organization, this will allow Predictiv to interact with key stakeholders and investors at NASA and other affiliated partners.
Cofounded by two recognized genomics experts and a serial entrepreneur with 2 successful exits under his belt, Predictiv has the academic expertise and business-building know-how that it will require if it wants to make Predictiv a household name.
Sajung Yun – CEO
- CEO, Sajung Yun, brings to Predictiv expertise in genomics. His twin brother and CTO, Sijung Yun, brings expertise in bioinformatics. And COO, Alex Rochegude, brings vast entrepreneurial knowledge and business-building experience that will be vital to the success of Predictiv.
After completing his Ph.D. in biomedical sciences, Sajung joined the National Institutes of Health on a post-doctoral research fellowship for genetic engineering. During that time, Sajung also earned an MBA at Johns Hopkins with an emphasis in healthcare management and entrepreneurship.
Sijung Yun – CTO
Twin brother to Sajung, Sijung received his Ph.D. in biophysics from Boston University. After receiving his education, he went on to teach bioinformatics to more than 1,000 post-doctoral students at the National Institute of Health’s graduate school.
Alex Rochegude – COO
A former entrepreneur, investor, and startup advisor, Alex has extensive experience in building, and working with, startups. Before devoting his time to Predictiv, he served as a Deal Advisory Partner at KPMG and was the CEO and founder of FLASHiZ, an award-winning mobile payment company that operated in 8 countries. The company was successfully acquired in 2013.
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