Theranos, the Palo Alto, CA-based company that seeks to put together health IT systems that support more personalized medicine, has raised $45 million in new equity and option financing in a deal that could ultimately be worth as much as $100 million, according to a regulatory filing.
Theranos didn’t issue a statement today about the deal, and a person who answered the phone for founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes said neither Holmes nor any other company official was available to talk about the financing. The document doesn’t say who invested, but it does note that it was from a single investor. Theranos’ board of directors includes Donald Lucas, a founder of National Semiconductor; Robert B. Shapiro, a former director of the New York Stock Exchange; Peter Thomas, a managing director of ATA Ventures; and Channing Robertson, a professor of engineering at Stanford University.
Theranos’ website also lists Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison as a board member, although Ellison isn’t listed as a director in today’s filing with the SEC.
Theranos was founded when Holmes was just 19 years old and a sophomore at Stanford University, according to this December 2006 story in Red Herring that called her a “Drug Diva.” Her Stanford professor at the time, Robertson, was quoted in that story saying he helped Holmes leave school because, “You start to realize you are looking in the eyes of another Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, or Michael Dell-people who have done very special and interesting things.” The founding vision, according to a June 2006 story in Inc. magazine, was for Theranos to create a device that would capture information from a pinprick of blood, which would be analyzed to help prevent the estimated 100,000 deaths a year in the U.S. from adverse drug reactions. Holmes raised $16 million in her first two rounds of funding for Theranos, and an undisclosed third round, according to the Red Herring story.
The company’s idea, as described on its website today, is to “revolutionize the way we collect, analyze, and communicate health information.” This health IT system is supposed to enable physicians and patients to get real-time information on how a patient is responding to a therapy, or the progress of their disease, to enable better medical decisions tailored to the individual. Theranos appears to be interested in offering its platform to pharmaceutical companies who are looking to find ways to improve the success rate of drugs in clinical trials, and better predict which subpopulations of patients might be exposed to greater risks or benefits than others.
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