Personalised nutrition firm DayTwo secures €27.2m in latest microbiome funding round
The financing, which brings DayTwo's total funding to €42.2m ($48m), will fund ongoing product and service development that target the gut microbiome for metabolic and gastrointestinal conditions.
"DayTwo is the only evidence-based, actionable, microbiome platform in the market today,” said Lihi Segal, CEO and founder of DayTwo.
"This deep and broad foundation, coupled with this financing, enables DayTwo to address the large and pressing clinical need to bring food-as-medicine to market for people with type 2 diabetes in the United States."
The Israeli-based firm’s main product offers a personalised nutrition recommendation service via an app using information based on machine-learning algorithms that integrate personalised gut microbiome data.
This ‘food-as-medicine’ approach uses research by professors Eran Segal and Eran Elinav, at The Weizmann Institute of Science as a platform, in which findings are available in the journal Cell.
Along with Seventure Partners and Johnson & Johnson, DayTwo can now count aMoon, a life sciences venture fund, and Ofek Ventures, a new venture fund focused on disruptive ICT technologies as main backers.
Previous funding rounds included contributions from the Mayo Clinic for the company's validation trial, recently published in JAMA.
Chronic disease concentration
DayTwo’s collaboration with Johnson & Johnson in early 2017 was perhaps an indication of the company’s direction as the two firms worked together on personalised clinical nutrition for diabetes.
Specifically, DayTwo's research focus is on glycaemic control, in which gut profiling and other clinical parameters are factored in to provide a food-as-medicine solution to enable tighter glycaemic control.
DayTwo's personalised approach provides actionable insights into how the body metabolises food and allows individuals to navigate what specific foods and meals to choose to balance their blood sugar levels.
According to the firm, glycaemic control solution is more effective than existing protocols for prediabetes and more impactful than leading diabetes pharmaceuticals.
"We are undergoing a transformational change in healthcare, when technology and machine learning can benefit patients with diabetes," said Yahal Zilka, managing partner at Ofek Ventures.
"After success in its initial market, we are excited to bring DayTwo to the U.S. where it has the potential to improve the lives of over one hundred million people with diabetes and prediabetes."
Gut bacteria and weight loss
Further research by Professors Segal and Elinav suggested rapid post-diet weight gain – often referred to as yo-yo dieting – could be a result of obesogenic gut bacteria, which remain even after weight loss.
The study, published in Nature, adds that a “flavonoid-based ‘post-biotic’ intervention ameliorates excessive secondary weight gain and helps to diagnose and treat this common disorder.”
"Digital health solutions such as DayTwo's accelerate treatment, disease prevention, and management of chronic illnesses," said Dr Yair Schindel, managing partner of aMoon Fund.
"As a doctor who has witnessed first-hand the harmful effects of metabolic diseases, I am encouraged by the positive results among the tens of thousands of patients served by DayTwo.
“The company's ability to make precision medicine accessible through their glycaemic-control solution is helping people with diabetes today.”
DayTwo’s glycaemic-control offering formed part of an agreement with Clalit Health Services last year in which the technology became part of Clalit's nutrition and dietetic services.
Speaking about the recent collaboration Irit Poraz, head dietitian at Clalit said the motivations behind the deal were to “realise the full potential of personalisation in both preventative care and chronic condition management”.
"The era of food-as-medicine is here,” Poraz said. “DayTwo is a pioneer that has brought the only evidence-based, actionable microbiome derived solution to the market. We are pleased to be able to leverage this science and actionability for our plan members."