‘Tis the season… for putting on the pounds!
If you’re anything like me, the winter holidays are all about spending time with family, eating and drinking with friends — and unfortunately, gaining weight.
This leads to several grueling weeks at the gym where I try to shed as many “holiday pounds” as possible. Maybe you can relate. It’s no fun at all.
But what if there were a “magic bullet”: a way to lose twice as much weight as you were shooting for — and get rich at the same time?
The Problem with Conventional Weight-Loss Strategies
40% of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. That adds up to 93.3 million people.
Obesity is the #1 chronic disease in America, and it’s linked to 7 of the top 10 causes of death, including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
The thing is, people become obese for different reasons, and without knowing the underlying cause, the outcome of any particular weight-loss strategy is highly variable.
Currently, doctors and patients choose obesity treatments blindly. Like picking a number from a hat, they either choose a diet, a medication, a medical device, or surgery.
But just 30% of patients respond well to a given treatment. The other 70% are spending thousands of dollars on treatments that don’t work, and that often have side effects.
But now there’s new hope…
Recently, two obesity doctors from the highly-respected Mayo Clinic founded a startup called Phenomix Sciences.
Phenomix has developed a patent-pending blood test to determine the underlying cause of obesity. You see, as these doctors discovered, there are 4 obesity “phenotypes”:
- Hungry Brain – Not recognizing when it’s time to stop eating.
- Hungry Gut – Not being able to stop snacking between meals.
- Emotional Hunger – Eating in response to positive or negative emotions.
- Slow Burn – When a patient’s metabolic rate and activity level burn few calories.
When a patient uses the wrong weight-loss strategy for their particular phenotype, it leads to failure.
But by leveraging Phenomix’s innovative blood test to identify their phenotype, a patient can help ensure that they’re implementing the right strategy from the start.
Progress to Date
For the last two years, Phenomix has been developing its technology at the Mayo Clinic.
More testing still needs to be done, but at this point, its blood test has been clinically validated in two randomized controlled trials:
Simply put, its test has been shown to predict response to the “right” treatment with 90% accuracy — and by personalizing a patient’s treatment, it’s helped patients experience twice the amount of weight loss they would have expected.
As Dr. Donna Ryan, President Elect of the World Obesity Federation, said, “If we can prove that the Phenomix Sciences blood test predicts response and helps direct choice of treatment, it would be transformative.”
Unlike medical devices or therapeutics, Phenomix’s test doesn't need FDA approval.
To meet the necessary licensing standards, it simply needs to validate its laboratory’s methods and results.
It plans to be “fully operational” and start offering its tests commercially in Q2 of 2019.
Its first target market will be the approximately 10 million people in the U.S. currently looking for medications, devices, surgery, or medical-grade care for weight loss. These people spend an average of $3,000 a year on weight management.
At an estimated price point of $600 (which is competitive with other DNA tests and health coaching), even if Phenomix’s test were used by just 1% of this market, its revenues could potentially reach about $60 million annually.
And now, to set up its lab and start hiring, it’s raising a small round of funding from investors like you. The minimum is $100. Should you consider an investment?
Pros and Cons of an Investment
On the “pro” side:
- Phenomix’s founders are obesity doctors from the Mayo Clinic. Startups founded by a team that has significant domain experience are far more likely to succeed.
- Obesity is an epidemic, so this presents a major market opportunity.
- If it becomes successful, Phenomix could be an attractive acquisition target for a pharma company like Pfizer, or for a global company that sells diagnostic tests.
On the “con” side, this is the type of startup that will eventually need tens of millions of dollars in funding, and that makes it a riskier investment.
After all, this isn’t a highly efficient software company…
It’s a healthcare company with a physical product — the type of product that needs to be built in factories, warehoused and shipped, and customized for every global market.
But if that doesn’t scare you off, why not dig into this opportunity further?
To learn more about Phenomix and potentially invest, click here »
Please note: Crowdability has no relationship with Phenomix, or with any of the companies or platforms we write about. Crowdability is an independent provider of education, information and research on start-ups and alternative investments.