Blood Testing and Biosensor Technologies

Oct 9, 2020 | Blog


Issue #66. Friday, October 9
Hello Everyone,

For this edition of the Zoic newsletter, we will cover innovations in blood testing, including new applications and new fundamental technologies.  We will also look at acquisition and growth activity in the urology and vascular health spaces, as well as examples of successful IP strategies in other industries that can be models in medical technology.

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What it Means to be a Psychonaut: Guest Ketan Patel
Join Neal Mody and…Christopher Joseph idle, Or is it Christopher Jude? With Chris Haydel, for another episode of Market Meditations. The Market Meditations that keep its content squeaky clean and focuses on becoming better humans, hopefully making us all better investors, where we talk about the market and interview guests about some fun things like psilocybin and data today. Joining Neal and Chris is Ketan Patel. Ketan has initially been an ER doc. Then, he decided to start an integrated wellness practice that included everything from ayurvedic to Chinese medicine to western medicine, seeing just a ton of patients a day. And at some point, Ketan decided to start an AI company. And is now do all of the billing for a top-five insurance company. He’s building other interesting like tools for doctors to interact with patients more efficiently in the ER. He is currently building tools around measuring the best uses for marijuana and psilocybin. Join the three of them as they go over Ketan’s journey, career, and get a better understanding of what it means to be a psychonaut.

Ketan’s Bio:

Listen in on:
Apple PodcastsSpotify, or Soundcloud
Portfolio News

HDT Bio Announces Completion of Seed Financing Round
HDT Bio Corp., a biotechnology company enabling global access to immunotherapies for oncology and infectious disease, has announced the close of its seed financing round totaling ~$3 million. The round was co-led by Zoic Capital and joined by angel investors from multiple biotechnology hubs. Proceeds will be used largely to support the continued development of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, HDT-301. The vaccine is slated to enter clinical trials in Q4 2020 in partnership with the NIH/NIAID.

Dr. Steven Reed, CEO of HDT, said of the funding and programs, “This investment, combined with our other sources of non-dilutive funding and early-stage revenue, puts us in a position to advance at least three products into the clinic in the next twelve months.”

Neal Mody, Managing Director at Zoic Capital, commented, “We’re excited to invest in HDT Bio and help the company grow to its full potential. HDT has multiple assets derived from exciting technology platforms that we see as a tremendously de-risking feature for companies at their stage.”

Learn more about HDT Bio 

Deal Flow News & Insights

Celiac disease is a medical condition that requires major changes in lifestyle and diet. Currently, there is no good early detection of this condition, and diagnosis requires invasive tissue biopsy.

Blood Testing and Biosensor Technologies
Biosensor Technologies
Blood testing continues to grow in not just major medical fields such as cancer and diabetes, but also other areas that span the gap between health and medical conditions. Celiac disease is a medical condition, but often requires major changes in lifestyle and diet. Currently, there is no good early detection of this condition, and diagnosis requires invasive tissue biopsy. A new blood test has promise in early detection without biopsy. This could also mean earlier intervention with changes in diet, rather than pharmaceuticals.
Read More

We are also seeing advances in blood testing and biosensor technologies. One of the promising areas is materials, especially graphene. A new graphene-based sensor can enable home-based detection of COVID or other infectious diseases. Graphene is a carbon nanomaterial that is highly sensitive, especially to biological molecules. The issue it has faced is large scale manufacturing, a common issue for nanofabrication. Hopefully, the grants and research for COVID can help advance this material for general use.
Read More

Another biosensor advance we are seeing is the use of CRISPR for detecting biomarkers. For example, for rapid and inexpensive malaria testing. CRISPR is not only a quick and low-cost tool for genetic editing, but it can also be used to detect markers such as DNA and proteins. CRISPR is a crowded IP field, however, and any new platform using it has to make sure they are either not infringing on the current patents, but can also carve out enough of a space for itself for future growth and protection.
Read More

IP News
For our IP example, Qualcomm is a great example of business-driven thinking about IP (see our earlier post about courts upholding their competitive strategy against “monopoly” suits from Apple and other major players). They’ve created a highly profitable IP licensing program, by combining technology, know-how, patents, and business models to dominate mobile chips. Now, they aim to apply this playbook to 5G networking because it enables mobile applications across multiple industries. “We look at 5G and say this is a once-in-a-career-type expansion of the cellular road map into other industries.” At Zoic, we specifically look for such once-in-a-career opportunities for our startups and explore ways to build broad IP portfolios that go beyond patents.
Read More

Acquisition News
We are also seeing acquisition activity from medical device companies in not just their own segments, but also to expand into adjacent ones. The urology market is mostly stable, with the same major companies such as Coloplast. Most of the time, acquisitions from companies in this space (and similar) are with incremental advances that address the same sales channels and indications of their core products. Now, though, there are continuing signs that even these companies are moving into adjacent spaces. For example, Coloplast is now investing in the urology cancer space. This is adjacent and still address urology, but does have a significantly different regulatory and risk profile. However, this still means companies like them are willing the move into spaces, increasing the possibilities for startup acquirers.
Read More

A similar space to urology is the vascular surgery space. This is also a mostly stagnant space that still sees regular acquisitions of incremental innovations. A large market is the dialysis market, where almost all patients receive surgery to give them a permanent vascular access point. The surgery, though, is still prone to complications, and innovations are still needed for the estimated 160,000 patients per year. Medtronic recently acquired a technology in this space that can also be used for other vascular surgeries.Read More

What We’re Reading
No Mercy/No Malice
Tulips to Tesla
Instacart becomes most valuable US VC-backed food delivery company at $17.7B
 The Hill
US sees the highest number of new coronavirus cases since August
Here Comes the Life Sciences Land Rush

Connect With Zoic Capital
The Biweekly Dealflow Update, curated by the team at Zoic Capital.

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Our team of industry experts and professionals provide industry news, guidance and perspective within the life sciences and medtech investment sectors. To see the type of deals and company innovation we pay attention to, consider receiving our biweekly deal flow newsletter.