ASV Insights presents the Top 10 Deals of 2023 where we look at how recent major successes reflect the latest trends in women’s health and sexual health.
In December of this year, consumer testing and molecular diagnostics company, Imaware, acquired Binx Health’s at-home testing business. Binx Health had previously raised nearly $200 million from EQT Life Sciences, RMI Partners, Novartis, OrbiMed and J&J. Imaware is a privately held company offering point-of-care testing kits across a range of health indications for both men and women. Of particular interest, Binx Health has created the first ever FDA-cleared, CLIA-waived solution for the detection of chlamydia and gonorrhea with results available in thirty minutes in clinics.
In response to the post-COVID popularization of point-of-care testing, healthcare consumerization is on the rise. Patients are taking healthcare into their own hands and companies like Everylywell ($2.9Bn), Thorne HealthTech ($680MM), and Imaware are addressing the emerging demand for at-home testing kits. At-home STI testing is particularly important considering that STIs have reached epidemic proportions in the US.
365 million new STIs are diagnosed a year but only 9% of people get tested due to lack of money, insurance or embarrassment. This is problematic from a public health perspective but can also have lasting ramifications for individuals. Undiagnosed STIs can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, and cancer.
The STI diagnostics market is expected to grow from $9.25B in 2022 to $18.29B in 2032. This forecast is backed by the rising rates of sexually transmitted diseases coupled with increased awareness and innovative testing approaches. Additionally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the STI epidemic as a major public health concern, encouraging more collaborative efforts between healthcare providers, policymakers, and the private sector.
At-home testing will improve access to testing and treatment for people who need it most and with this recent acquisition, Imaware is set to become the leading STI at-home testing company leveraging contracts with universities, health clinics, and state departments of public health.
The acquisition of Binx Health’s at-home testing business, including their STI testing kit, exemplifies the upward trajectory of the sexual health industry as a whole. We’re seeing this shift in the market in the early Seed and Series A stages as well. In recent years, multiple STI testing startups have succeeded in securing VC funding.
Which companies are leading the charge in at-home testing?
Early pioneers include:
Testmate – Seed – Testmate is developing a simple, at-home, urine test for the most common STIs. No need to ship samples to a lab, the results are available in minutes.
Renegade Bio – Series A – Renegade bio is developing diagnostics that identify conditions earlier, faster, and more affordably from infectious diseases like STIs to hormone and fertility testing.
TBD Health – Seed – TBD Health offers at-home STI testing with the option for in-person clinic care.
NOWDx – Series B – NOWDx develops over-the-counter and point of care diagnostic tests for indications ranging from syphilis to heart disease, that yield results in minutes.
Trybe Labs – Series B – Trybe Labs offers at-home testing for various health indications including hormonal health, heart health, sexual health and more.
As we see more data points of at-home testing company acquisitions, we predict that more VCs will fund early stage companies in the industry, causing a much-needed eruption of innovation in the space.
Click here to read more of the ASV Insights column which assesses the present and future trends of women’s health.