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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

Allez Health Secures $60M in Series A Funding

MEDTECH: Company Pursues Lower-Cost Glucose Sensors

CARLSBAD – The startup Allez Health, Inc. has raised $60 million toward the development of a sensor that could provide real-time glucose readings at a substantially lower cost than what’s already available.

The Series A+ financing was led with an almost $40 million investment by the Korean diagnostic company Osang Healthcare Co., which has an office in Pasadena and had been a major provider of COVID tests in the United States.

Leif Bowman
Allez Health, Inc.

Allez Health CEO Leif Bowman said Osang also will fund the construction of a factory, which could be an additional $50 million to $100 million investment.

The funding round kicked off in 2022 and is expected to lead to a Series B next year, while a third round could lead to the company going public, he said.

Allez Health is developing a biosensor, a device that uses a living organism or biological molecules like enzymes or antibodies to detect the presence of chemicals. The sensor will be primarily used for people with diabetes, but Bowman said it has the potential for a much broader marker in preventative healthcare and other uses.

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The company has been issued seven patents and has more than 40 pending patent applications. It has conducted more than 80 clinical studies aggregating more than 1,500 users, with a pivotal study in 120 insulin users.

Bowman said the company has run a pivotal study in China and plans to apply to market its sensor there this summer with a product launch in 2025.

He is eyeing a launch in the U.S. in 2026 and expects the trials for approval to cost $12 million to $15 million.

“We’re hiring more people,” he said. “We’re running more and more clinical trials and gathering more data.”

Experience in Biosensor Space

Before founding Allez Health in 2018, Bowman was a cofounder of Affirm XH, which was acquired by another company, and Biolark, an infusion therapy company still operational.

His involvement in the continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) space dates back to the late 1990s when he worked at Dexcom, which Bowman said did groundbreaking work to make CGM sensors more mainstream.

“The performance became good enough that people started to trust the data to make daily diabetes management decisions,” he said.

Bowman recalled talking to someone about Biolark and ideas he had about infusion when the person asked him if might consider starting a sensor company, since that was his background.

“I said I feel the public need has been met, and I’m not sure what problem I’d be solving,” Bowman recalled saying. “But I said I’ll do my homework.”

Expanding Access to Sensors

Bowman said he first thought the answer would be “in some fancy, new sexy technology.” But instead, he said he found the technologies already were great, and the challenge was to find a way for more people to access it.

“It was still a cost issue, and in particular an issue when you look at it on a global basis,” he said.

Unlike diabetic test strips that require a drop of blood to analyze, a biosensor is implanted under the skin and can give continuous, real-time glucose readings.

The sensors can cost $60 to $100 if somewhere to pay for them without insurance, and they typically last 10 to 14 days, Bowman said.

That can get prohibitively expensive to use constantly, he said, adding that he was not alone at trying to tackle the problem.

“One of things you run into when you’re trying to raise money is that everybody is out there talking about low-cost sensors,” Bowman said. “But the challenge they run into is that the sensor itself is not the expensive part.”

Bowman said he partnered with communications experts, including ex-Qualcomm engineers, to create novel electronic solutions that reduced costs in other areas.

“I’m a big believer in that you should focus on what you’re good at and find the right partners whose expertise is beyond your capabilities,” he said.

Depending on the volume produced, Bowman said the company’s sensors could sell for $40, $30 or even as low as $15 a sensor.

Besides its use in monitoring glucose for diabetes, Bowman said the sensors can be used in a broader market as a way of detecting such things as how a person’s body reacts to certain food.

As an example, Bowman said he has learned that his glucose level shoots up when he eats ice cream.

Such knowledge can lead to users eating healthier diets and can be a tool for losing weight. The information can be so precise that people will be able to tell in what order to eat certain foods in a meal, he said.

Allez Health Inc.
CEO: Leif Bowman
REVENUE: Pre-revenue stage
WEBSITE: https://www.allezhealth.com/
CONTACT: 619-631-5114, IR@allezhealth.com
SOCIAL IMPACT: Less electronic waste would be generated with the company’s product.
NOTABLE: The company’s technology could make glucose sensors more affordable for many people with diabetes and one day could be used to provide healthier lifestyles to a broad range of people.


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