founder

Founder Profile: The UPenn Grads Upending Healthcare For The Better

Summary

At the time of publication, 5/23/19, InnaMed had raised $267,817
In the US our healthcare system has long been focused on reactive treatment rather than proactive prevention. While there is still a very long way to go to become more proactive in nature, certain regulations have forced doctors to think more about long term outcomes rather than short term treatment.

With this mindset has come the need for tools that can help alleviate some of the many frictions associated with prevention such as screening and diagnostics. So many of the challenges associated with certain cancers, and medical conditions such as diabetes and heart conditions can be mitigated if caught early.

This is why the at-home blood diagnostic technology being developed by the InnaMed team is so innovative and could have a profound impact on keeping patients healthy and out of the hospital.

We sat down with Co-Founder Anup Singh to learn more about the tech he and his team are building to help enable more personalized medicine and proactive disease management. Check out our discussion below.
Chris Lustrino

Anup, can you tell us about you and your Co-Founders background and how Innamed came to be?

Anup Singh

Eshwar and I have academic backgrounds in bioengineering and biophysics, respectively. We met as undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania while we were working in the same diagnostics laboratory developing smartphone-based microfluidic devices.  

InnaMed stemmed from our personal research and technology interests in portable diagnostics as well as our personal experiences with family members suffering from chronic conditions and seeing firsthand the consequences of detecting patient deterioration too late.

Chris Lustrino

For those that don’t know, how do you define Innamed as a business in one sentence?

Anup Singh

Smart, at-home blood testing technology to enable personalized medicine.

Chris Lustrino

What pain point are you solving for by creating this at-home monitoring device?

Anup Singh

Today physicians require blood tests for more than 70% of clinical decisions; however, patients often have difficulty complying with the recommended blood testing due to long wait times, long travel times and the pain associated with blood testing. These delays in blood test data often cause avoidable hospitalizations, worsened patient outcomes and additional costs to the healthcare system.

Unfortunately, current solutions for this problem are often limited in scope like the glucometer for diabetics or expensive with slow turnaround times like mail-in test kits or mobile phlebotomy. InnaMed aims to fill this gap with its affordable smart, at-home blood testing technology.

Chris Lustrino

What types of test do you want v1 of the product to be able to test for?

Anup Singh

Our first panel is focused on heart failure for monitoring kidney function and electrolytes to help physicians dose therapies appropriately and safely. Heart failure affects over 6 million people in the US and is the leading cause of hospitalization in patients over age 65 making it a significant health issue and expensive condition to manage for the healthcare system.

Chris Lustrino

How far along is product development and what will it take to get to market?

Anup Singh

We currently have V1 prototypes that we are deploying for research use with pharmaceutical and US government partners; however, we still need to take our product through formal contract manufacturing and anticipate that taking a year from the close of funding.

Chris Lustrino

Post the cardiac diagnostic market, what other disease areas are good fit for Innamed products?

Anup Singh

Kidney disease, organ transplants, and fertility.

Chris Lustrino

How do you monetize the product and who ultimately will pay for this?

Anup Singh

Currently we are deploying the prototype products with pharma companies and US government groups where they are directly paying us for the devices and cartridges; however, after FDA clearance we plan on working with insurance companies to obtain coverage for the product as a service.

Chris Lustrino

Has there been any pushback from investors after the diagnostic-tech market experienced the fall of Theranos and how are you combatting that potential market fear?

Anup Singh

Yes – investors are certainly more cautious about investing in this space. As a company, we have focused on transparency in our technology and data with multiple peer-reviewed publications in leading scientific journals.  

Additionally, we have brought on experienced executives and advisors from the diagnostics industry to help on the scientific, regulatory, clinical and commercial sides to ensure we are following all the necessary regulations in bringing the product to market.

Chris Lustrino

You recently brought in an experienced CEO. Can you tell us more about his credentials and why you think he is the right individual for the job

Anup Singh

Alan is currently our acting CEO and was brought on at the end of last year to help us as we transition to the manufacturing, regulatory and commercial phases with InnaMed. Alan has been CEO of multiple early-stage diagnostics companies that he exited demonstrating his ability in successfully growing companies from our stage.

He has also had experience at larger companies in the diagnostics space such as Abbott which is important for our negotiations with larger partners (e.g. pharmaceutical companies, US government partners, etc.) since he has experience being on both sides of the table.

Finally, Alan is a genuine, humble individual who is committed to helping Eshwar and myself grow as founders and executives in addition to helping InnaMed succeed. We are lucky to be working with him and are excited for what the future holds with this team.

Chris Lustrino

How will the capital from this round be deployed and do you have a sense of how much capital will be needed to get the InnaMed product into the field?

Anup Singh

The focus of this funding will be to advance current prototypes to small-scale contract manufacturing, grow our current pre-FDA revenue with pharma, government and veterinary partners and complete additional preclinical validation of future test panels to support FDA 510(k) clearance.

We anticipate raising a Series A of $10m+ at the end of this year or early next year which will enable us to complete the necessary studies for FDA 510(k) clearance of our device and first panel and launch the product in the clinical setting.

InnaMed is still an early stage company with a long road to proving it has the legs to be an industry-defining technology. However, they have assembled the right team members, vision and processes to make a run at doing just that.

Anup and his management team are taking the right steps forward to develop a technology that can improve the outcomes of millions of patients in the years to come. That is one of the many reasons why it has been rated a Top Deal by KingsCrowd.

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About: Chris Lustrino

A Boston College Eagle for life, on a mission to democratize startup investing for all people at KingsCrowd, with a passion for Fintech, investing, social impact, doing well and doing good, and an avid runner, cyclist and writer.

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