Drawbridge Health, a GE Ventures spinoff that developed a device to draw blood without pain and chemically stabilizes it for transport, has agreed to a strategic collaboration with Thorne Research, a health and wellness business that intends to use Drawbridge Health’s technology to support its personalized wellness programs.
It marks the first partnership since Drawbridge’s launch last month. The company is gearing up for clinical trials with the goal of securing 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the device.
Drawbridge developed a handheld device that’s applied to the upper arm. Two buttons are pushed, pricking the skin, generating a few drops of blood that flow into the device’s chamber and onto a strip of paper, which acts to stabilize the blood. The paper eliminates the need for refrigeration and extends the sample’s shelf life.
Thorne Research developed blood biomarker tests. It uses the results and analytical software to help develop personalized plans for customers’ diet, exercise and supplements they should take. Its subsidiary WellnessFX developed an app to help consumers schedule blood, genetic and microbiome testing and help them understand the data through phone consultations with health practitioners to examine biomarkers that measure cardiovascular, metabolic, hormonal and nutritional health issues.
As part of the deal, Thorne Research will get exclusive rights to distribute and commercialize future Drawbridge Health products within the U.S. health and wellness industry. In exchange, Thorne Research will invest millions in Drawbridge Health and Thorne Research CEO Paul Jacobson will join the board of directors for Drawbridge, the news release noted.
Wellness is one of the categories Drawbridge Health CEO Lee McCracken identified for his business in an interview last month.
“There’s an interesting subset of the market: specialty diagnostics, companies that are addressing reproductive health, chronic disease management, genetic testing, wellness,” said McCracken. “They’re already running samples, looking for a better experience that’s easier for a patient or consumer of diagnostics.”
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