Tag Archives: Cure Disease

Qura’s Tiny Implantables Could Revolutionize How We Treat Hypertension



When it comes to health technology, often the next big thing is really, really small.

Our guest on the show this week, Dr. Will Hendren, has seen personally that when it comes to implanting a medical device in the body, size matters.

Dr. Hendren spent decades as a surgeon working with rescue devices like pacemakers, which themselves have evolved from being the size of a pack of cigarettes to being smaller than a triple A battery. It doesn’t take a degree in biomechanical engineering to appreciate that you want a lower profile machine sitting next to your heart.

Now, with his company Qura – a member of the StartUp Health community since 2016 – Dr. Hendren is taking that concept to the next level. He and his team are the leading edge of miniaturizing medical devices to such an extreme degree that it opens up a whole new market for remote patient monitoring.

In our interview we’ll talk about how Dr. Hendren and his team have built an implantable the size of a vitamin that can take blood pressure readings passively and transmit that information to the patient and their caregiver wirelessly. We’ll talk about some of the tiny tech that it was necessary to invent in order to make this breakthrough possible, and we’ll talk about how remote monitoring at scale could be a gamechanger for hypertension and heart disease, which are two of the top causes of death globally.

Let’s get into it!


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From the Archives: Naheed Kurji of Recursion Takes a Deep Dive into Artificial Intelligence for Drug Discovery



For this StartUp Health NOW episode, we dive back into an interview we did with a long-time Health Transformer, Naheed Kurji. At the time of the interview, Naheed was the CEO, President & Co-founder of Cyclica, a StartUp Health company that is considered one of the pioneers of what is now the increasingly hot space of using AI for drug discovery and development.

We wanted to revisit this conversation because in the time since we aired it, Cyclica had huge news. In May 2023, the company was acquired by Recursion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RXRX), a clinical-stage biotech player.

Naheed now leads Recursion’s Canadian operations and is putting his experience to use accelerating innovation in drug discovery in whole new ways. By looking back at Naheed’s experience at Cyclica, we can gain a glimpse into how he was so successful piloting a startup from launch to acquisition and how he might lead Recursion moving forward. Naheed will also give us an inside look at how Cyclica reshaped this market – then he’ll zoom way out: as the chair of the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Health, Naheed can help us understand where the AI for health industry is going.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


 

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Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


From the Archives: Dr. Robert Wilson on How Partnering with PreventScripts Enhanced His Medical Practice



Typically on this show we talk to the health tech founders – who we call Health Transformers – that are creating the tools and platforms that will modernize our health system. Or we talk to top investors on what they’re looking for in startups.

But, on this week’s StartUp Health NOW, we look back at one of our most-popular podcast episodes, which featured a different kind of guest: one that helps round out the picture of how healthcare innovation goes from idea to real-world implementation.

Robert Wilson, MD, is a family physician who runs CovenantCare Family Practice, a multi-site medical practice in Tennessee. Dr. Wilson popped up on our radar because he was an early partner for PreventScripts, a startup that’s part of the StartUp Health community. PreventScripts, led by Brandi Harless and Natalie Davis, MD, has created a platform that helps family doctors like Dr. Wilson identify patients who would benefit from chronic care management. Think about a patient who is pre-diabetic and all signs point towards a long battle with Type 2 diabetes. While Dr. Wilson might be too overextended to identify and coach this patient before the disease sets in, PreventScripts can identify the risk and put the patient on a clinically-proven program. Patients with chronic diseases, or the risk of disease, get heightened care between visits, and Dr. Wilson gets added reimbursement.

We wanted to talk to Dr. Wilson to understand why he was interested in partnering with a health startup, as this is one of the key hurdles for any health innovator. How do you find the right clinical partner, a place to prove out your brilliant idea in the real world, and then iterate based on user feedback?

In the conversation – our most-downloaded episode in the past year – we’ll get into the real-world challenges that Dr. Wilson faces, his motivation for evolving his practice, and how PreventScripts has helped him fill gaps in patient care.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


 

FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


From the Archives: Aaron Kowalski, PhD, CEO of JDRF, Brings His Professional & Personal Experience to StartUp Health’s T1D Moonshot Impact Board



For this StartUp Health NOW episode, we are taking a look back at a great episode featuring Aaron Kowalski, PhD, the CEO of JDRF International. Anyone orbiting in the universe of Type 1 diabetes knows that JDRF is the world’s largest nonprofit funder of T1D research. In his role atop the organization, Kowalski has combined his professional experience as a molecular biologist and executive with his personal passion to fight Type 1 diabetes in order to impact patients like his own brother.

Kowalski is also an exciting addition to StartUp Health’s Type 1 Diabetes Moonshot Impact Board. This board is a cross-disciplinary team of T1D experts spanning the gamut from research to funding to commercialization. We are thrilled that Kowalski is bringing his vast experience to this community in order to speed up innovation and support a generation of health entrepreneurs.

We will be back with fresh episodes after Labor Day!


 

FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


Welcome to the Genomic Medicine Revolution



On this episode of StartUp Health NOW, we’re talking with Jo Bhakdi, CEO & Founder of Quantgene, a company that joined StartUp Health in 2019. Bhakdi and his team have made a name for themselves by offering a kind of deep genomic profiling that allows them to identify cancers early, detect hereditary diseases, and find adverse drug interactions.

The name of the game here is genomic medicine and we’re not talking about 23andMe or Ancestry.com.

As you’ll hear in the interview, Bhakdi has a revolutionary vision for where the field of genomic medicine is heading in the next five years. And he’s got a strategy for getting there. Spoiler alert: Bhakdi believes that if we can get the cost of genomic testing down which he’s actively working on – and can scale access to genomic medicine to millions of people, that could knock cancer out of the top 10 list of leading causes of death entirely. Since cancer is currently at number two, it’s a pretty radical idea, but Bhakdi has a strong track record and a compelling market strategy through Quantgene’s new offering called Serenity.

We’ll let him explain the vision in this episode.


FundersBecome a Health Moonshot Champion
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.
Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.


Aaron Kowalski, PhD, CEO of JDRF, Brings His Professional & Personal Experience to StartUp Health’s T1D Moonshot Impact Board



For this StartUp Health NOW episode, we are joined by Aaron Kowalski, PhD, the CEO of JDRF International. Anyone orbiting in the universe of Type 1 diabetes will know that JDRF is the world’s largest nonprofit funder of T1D research. In his role atop the organization, Kowalski has combined his professional experience as a molecular biologist and executive with his personal passion to fight Type 1 diabetes in order to impact patients like his own brother.

Kowalski is also a recent addition to StartUp Health’s Type 1 Diabetes Moonshot Impact Board. This board is a cross-disciplinary team of T1D experts spanning the gamut from research to funding to commercialization. We are thrilled that Kowalski is bringing his vast experience to this cohort in order to speed up innovation and support a generation of health entrepreneurs.

Join us at the StartUp Health Festival @ HLTH, Nov 13-16 in Las Vegas, to learn more and get involved with our T1D Moonshot.


Entrepreneurs: How to get investment from StartUp Health startuphealth.com

Investors: How to invest in StartUp Health Moonshots healthmoonshots.com
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.
Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.

AI-Powered Health: Naheed Kurji of Cyclica Takes a Deep Dive into Artificial Intelligence for the Healthcare Industry



Our guest this week is Naheed Kurji, the CEO and Co-founder of Cyclica, which joined StartUp Health way back in 2014. He’s going to get us up to speed on the world of AI-powered drug discovery. We’ll learn how artificial intelligence and machine learning are speeding up our ability to identify molecules and find new uses for market-tested drugs. Naheed will give us an inside look at how Cyclica is specifically trying to reshape this market, then he’ll zoom way out. As the chair of the Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Health, Naheed can help us understand where the AI for health industry is going.

Join us at the StartUp Health Festival @ HLTH, Nov 13-16, 2022, in Las Vegas to meet Naheed Kurji in person.


Learn more and connect with the team at Cyclica.

Entrepreneurs: How to get investment from StartUp Health startuphealth.com

Investors: How to invest in StartUp Health Moonshots healthmoonshots.com
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.
Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.

 


How Brian Neman Has Cultivated an Award-Winning Workplace at Sanguine Biosciences



This week, our guest is Brian Neman, the CEO and Founder of Sanguine Biosciences, a company that joined the StartUp Health portfolio in 2018.

Brian and his team first made a splash by bringing an at-home on-demand business model to specimen collection for clinical trials. Instead of having to get yourself to a lab, you tap a few buttons on your phone and a nurse shows up at your house to take your blood. That business has evolved significantly over the years, which we’ll get into in the interview. But the spark for this interview had more to do with people than products.

You see, Brian’s company was just selected for the Forbes list of 100 Best Small Workplaces and top 10 in biopharma. Sanguine was also on Inc.’s list of fastest growing private companies, and Comparably named him on their list of best CEOs for women and for diversity in the workplace.

In this interview, Brian will talk about how he cultivates company culture, particularly in an era of remote work – and he had loads of wisdom to share, so we hope you enjoy.


Connect with the team at Sanguine Biosciences via email.

Entrepreneurs: How to get investment from StartUp Health startuphealth.com

Investors: How to invest in StartUp Health Moonshots healthmoonshots.com
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.
Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.

Health Innovation Implementation: Dr. Robert Wilson on How Partnering with PreventScripts Enhanced His Medical Practice



Typically on this show we talk to the health tech founders – who we call Health Transformers – that are creating the tools and platforms that will modernize our health system. This week we have a different kind of guest who will help round out the picture of how healthcare innovation goes from idea to real-world implementation.

Our guest is Robert Wilson, MD, a family physician who runs CovenantCare Family Practice, a multi-site medical practice in Tennessee. Dr. Wilson popped up on our radar because he was an early partner for PreventScripts, a startup that’s part of the StartUp Health portfolio. PreventScripts, led by Brandi Harless and Natalie Davis, MD, has created a platform that helps family doctors like Dr. Wilson identify patients who would benefit from chronic care management. Think about a patient who is pre-diabetic and all signs point towards a long battle with Type 2 diabetes. While Dr. Wilson might be too overextended to identify and coach this patient before the disease sets in, PreventScripts can identify the risk and put the patient on a clinically-proven program. Patients with chronic diseases, or the risk of disease, get heightened care between visits, and Dr. Wilson gets added reimbursement.

We wanted to talk to Dr. Wilson to understand why he was interested in partnering with a health startup, as this is one of the key hurdles for any health innovator. How do you find the right clinical partner, a place to prove out your brilliant idea in the real world, and then iterate based on user feedback?

In the conversation, we’ll get into the real-world challenges that Dr. Wilson faces, his motivation for evolving his practice, and how PreventScripts has helped him fill gaps in patient care.


Learn more and connect with the team at PreventScripts.

Entrepreneurs: How to get investment from StartUp Health startuphealth.com

Investors: How to invest in StartUp Health Moonshots healthmoonshots.com
Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.

Passionate about Type 1 diabetes? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our T1D Moonshot.
Looking to break down health barriers? If you’re an entrepreneur or investor, contact us to learn how you can join our Health Equity Moonshot.

Former Dexcom Exec Claudia Graham Joins StartUp Health’s New T1D Moonshot Impact Board



“The more you know, the better you’ll do living with diabetes,” says Claudia Graham. “There’s nothing more important in diabetes than empowering patients.”

If you follow StartUp Health at all, you have seen headlines about our new Type 1 Diabetes Moonshot. To recap, we’ve launched an initiative designed to speed up innovation around Type 1 diabetes by bringing together a cross-disciplinary team of investors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, researchers, and other industry experts. At the heart of the effort is an Impact Board – basically our T1D dream team – which brings together the top minds in the field for collaborative working sessions. We wanted to take some time on this podcast to introduce you to some of the inspiring folks on this Impact Board and invite you to get involved in the effort.

On this episode you’ll meet Claudia Graham, former executive at Dexcom, the company that revolutionized the continuous glucose monitor. She served as VP of Marketing and SVP of Global Access. Now she’s putting her decades of experience at Dexcom – and as someone living with Type 1 diabetes – to work as an advisor and investor. We caught up with Claudia over zoom at her home in Idaho to learn about the opportunities and challenges she sees in the Type 1 Diabetes Moonshot, how StartUp Health helps get away from institutional thinking to break down barriers and empower patients, and how she thinks about leaving a legacy for the next generation.


Entrepreneurs, are you working on a T1D solution? We want to hear from you.
Investors, want to back an impact-driven fund laser focused on T1D? Contact us.

Want more content like this? You can subscribe to the podcast as well as other health innovation updates at startuphealth.com/content.
Sign up for StartUp Health Insider™ to get funding insights, news, and special updates delivered to your inbox.