Company closes $5.6 million in funding and secures distinguished board of directors as it seeks to empower individual health ownership with personalized biological analysis and storage
WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GoodCell (“LifeVault Bio”), the personal biobanking company with the health indicators to inform actionable next steps in your health journey, today announced it has secured a $2.6 million price round under LifeVault Bio and a $3 million convertible note, and brought on renowned technology executive Anthony Bay as its newest board member. The capital will be used to expand GoodCell Diagnostics, the company’s commercial application, as it pioneers a cell quality test to measure the DNA damage to somatic cells over time, as well as fuel the formation of strategic partnerships across the healthcare and life sciences sectors, and grow the team at its headquarters in Waltham, Mass.
GoodCell helps individuals take control of their health through personalized biobanking of cells, DNA and blood plasma, with the belief that medical science will continue to progress, bringing forth new ways of preventing, detecting and treating diseases. Research continues to prove that cells are an essential starting material for the treatments of tomorrow. DNA and plasma are widely validated as critical information sources for monitoring and tracking health risk and informing lifestyle decisions. GoodCell aims to empower individuals with personal health information and storage resources to take full advantage of breakthrough medical science as it emerges.
“Stem cells are among the most promising areas of medical research because they are the starting materials from which all other cells originate,” said Brad Hamilton, co-founder and chief science officer at GoodCell. “Some of these cells, specifically induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells which can be derived from a person’s own skin or blood, can be programmed to produce virtually any type of cell in the human body. This versatility has made them an instrumental tool, helping scientists understand and fight some of the biggest health threats of our time, such as Parkinson’s disease, Type 1 diabetes and heart disease. GoodCell exists to help people preserve their access to these potentially lifesaving cells.”
After GoodCell sends members a sample collection kit to their doorstep, they are prompted to schedule a convenient blood-draw with a certified phlebotomist, who then safely packages and ships the sample for processing. Once received, GoodCell isolates and preserves three components of the blood sample: cells, DNA and blood plasma. The DNA sample is then tested to inform genetic predisposition to disease, such as metabolic, neurologic and cardiac disorders, as well as certain cancers. Armed with deep insight into a member’s biology, the GoodCell Dashboard displays their health information as a comprehensive overview, designed to inform the next best action in their health journey. Samples are stored in a state-of-the-art, FDA-registered CLIA/CAP certified lab and biorepository that is trusted by larger biotechnology companies and the National Institutes of Health. Since it is the change in health indicators that indicates risk, recurrent sampling is possible to enable measuring the trajectory of change in plasma components or DNA. Since the samples belong to GoodCell members, they can decide whether or not to share their information with their doctor or allow researchers to use it in clinical studies.
“To me, GoodCell represents the ultimate in personalized medicine. Individuals can now have their own biobank and their own biodata. These won’t be owned by a hospital or in the case of your cells, by no one at all. These will be stored for you, accessible only on your instruction. As new tests come online or as cells become a broader therapy source, you will be able to tap into your own earlier, preserved self in the form of your blood,” said David Scadden, MD, co-founder and chair of the Scientific Advisory Board at GoodCell. “Imagine two scenarios. First, a new blood test becomes available for Alzheimer’s disease. You get the test, but just like current tests for things like prostate cancer, it is only meaningful in light of how it is changing. Your doctor will likely advise waiting months or a year to re-test. With a GoodCell sample, we envision the test can be done on your blood from a previous time. Then you can know how things are changing without the prolonged wait and the anxiety it engenders. Second, let’s say the stem cell field delivers on the therapies it is currently testing for diabetes, heart failure, Parkinson’s disease and macular degeneration. Those therapies will likely be as cells derived from you. Would you want those to be from you at a younger age since we know our cells accumulate genetic damage with age? I think most people would, and would want cells from their blood, which the bones have shielded from radiation, rather than their skin as is currently done. GoodCell will have those blood cells for you and has shown they can be made into stem cells (iPSC) with high efficiency.”
GoodCell is focused on continuing to grow its customer base and building up its talent pool at its new headquarters in Waltham, Mass. The company, which is poised to expand its headcount in early 2020, will also be exploring strategic partnerships with cell and gene therapy companies and interest groups that could benefit from GoodCell members deciding whether to opt-in to allow access to stored cells, DNA and plasma. GoodCell will also continue to recruit pioneers in business, science and technology to its board positions. Most recently, it welcomed Anthony Bay, former Global Head of Digital Video for Amazon and a veteran senior executive at other technology powerhouses, including Apple and Microsoft.
“I’ve devoted my career to creating scalable and differentiated technology platforms and unique digital experiences in many industries, and am excited to lend my expertise and perspectives to GoodCell,” said Bay. “I am delighted to play a role in helping the GoodCell team scale and expand to match the size of our opportunity to change people’s lives.”
Bay joins an already robust and diverse group of consumer technology and life science leaders, including John Goscha, Lucidity Lights founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Finally Light Bulb Company founder and entrepreneur; David Scadden, MD, professor of medicine at Harvard University’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology; Daniel Marshak, principal consultant in therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices; Avi Ellman, managing partner of Delta Global Investment Services; and Trevor Perry, co-founder and chief executive officer at GoodCell.
“Up until now, existing genetics offerings can only go so far as to inform your genetic makeup. GoodCell is taking that a step further today by combining genetics, health indicator testing and personal biobanking into one solution, and then turning this information right back to the individual so they can understand the story of their health and leverage actionable data at any age,” said Perry. “We are taking advantage of leading scientific innovation to help people take control of their health through personalized biobanking of cells, DNA, and blood plasma, and we believe the tremendous amount of support we received during this initial funding round will further allow us to be a true enabler of – and partner in – this process. Our goal is to set a new standard for personal biobanking as an individual health milestone, and our mission is to ensure our members feel confident and prepared to own their aging experience, and we look forward to accelerating our efforts in the months ahead.”
GoodCell helps you take control of your health through personalized biobanking of cells, DNA and blood plasma. Leveraging the best science, the technology provides health indicators for a comprehensive and proactive approach to self-care. Through the GoodCell Dashboard, the company informs the next best action in your health journey, offering access – for you and for your doctor – to actionable data and insights that relate to all aspects of your health through genetic reporting and blood analysis. Driven by mounting evidence in support of cellular therapy and united in the belief that you should be empowered to take control of your health, GoodCell is led by a founding team of scientific advisors with a diverse set of medical research and clinical expertise. By backing up your starting materials, GoodCell is setting a new standard of personal biobanking today for a healthier future. Learn more at: https://www.goodcell.com.
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