The Benefits of a Strong Device Platform

Nov 27, 2019 | Blog


Issue #45. Wednesday, November 27

Hello Everyone,

For this edition of the Zoic newsletter, we’ll be looking at deals that exist now that could all theoretically be addressed by the same blood testing platform. We’ve covered diagnostics many times, but this time we can see the capability of a single device platform that can test with accuracy, and remain to be a low cost solution.

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The Benefits of a Strong Device Platform

First, let’s consider the the prenatal testing market. Here, a consumer or medical test that can be used at the clinic or even at home can allow parents to determine risks to their child, ranging from potential genetic risks to even premature births. The right platform can bring this information to the user with just blood from the mother, with no risk to the fetus. Read more

At another range of the spectrum, the same platform can also be used to test for early signs of cancer, especially if the biomarkers are the same type as the previous applications. Many examples of this exist today, with more blood tests showing strong signs of being able to detect multiple cancer types early. Read more

As a specific example, even liver cancer can be detected early with the right market. Companies like Exact, or Grail have raised tremendous amounts of money based on this promise. What is interesting is that every single one of these companies have concentrated on the biomarker or lab test itself; none have yet come up with a new hardware device platform that can transform the access to these new tests. In most cases, this is because the technical achievements on the hardware side have not yet come to commercial fruition yet. Read more

In addition to testing for markers in the blood, the same platform can be useful even for microbiome tests. Even though the testing may be different, such as using stool samples, the correlation between what is in the bacterial genome and in the person’s genome is quite important, even essential. Thus, testing for the microbiome may not be best done in isolation and requires at least integration with a blood testing platform. Read more

Finally, there have been advances in even testing for Alzheimer’s using only a blood sample, which our theoretical platform could also be used for. Recent results show that just a blood sample can be used for testing for this disease, for which there is not current early diagnostics. Previous attempts have not shown good accuracy, as the blood brain barrier sometimes prevent biomarkers from showing up in the primary bloodstream. However, this recent test shows some good advances in making a truly reliable blood test for Alzheimer’s. Read more

A new episode of the Market Meditations podcast is now available.  Chris Haydel and Neal Mody discuss Chris’ recent trip to Cuba during the 500th anniversary of the founding of Havana, his conversation with two of Fidel Castro’s sons, the economic shape of Cuba during the Trump administration, and future investment in the country. Other highlights include the Hail Mary investment strategy of the Vision Fund in WeWork, and the value found in overlooked platinum investments.

The newest episode can be found on Apple PodcastsGoogle Podcasts, and Soundcloud.

About the Market Meditations podcast

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