Theranos competitor HealthTell raises $26M for single-drop-of-blood diagnostics that profile immune response

Arizona startup HealthTell has raised $26 million – showing that despite the ugly PR around Theranos, single-drop-of-blood startups can still raise capital.


Single-drop-of-blood diagnostics startups are still able to attract a pretty penny, despite the fallout from fallen unicorn Theranos. Arizona upstart HealthTell is in the midst of an impressive $35.5 million funding round, according to a regulatory filing. Thus far, it’s raised about $26 million from 25 investors, according to a regulatory filing.

The Arizona State University spinout, launched in 2011, assesses a patient’s immunosignature – that is, its immune response to 30 conditions. These include cancers, infectious, metabolic and autoimmune diseases – including arthritis, influenza and Alzheimer’s disease. It deploys a high-density peptide array that’s meant to search the countless antibodies present in any human blood sample. Different permutations and combinations of antibodies can indicate a patient has a disease.

Prior investors in the company include Vital Venture Capital, Paladin Capital Group, Acadia Woods Partners, Cambridge Global Capital and the Broe Group. MedCity News is waiting to hear back from HealthTell to learn about how it’ll use this new influx of cash. HealthTell has raised a $14 million Series A prior to this fundraise.

HealthTell’s been likened to Theranos in the past – because both are testing companies looking to make diagnoses based on a small volume of blood. However, HealthTell has kept a much lower profile – and has published its findings. It’s a little easier to understand the science upon which HealthTell is based.

On top of disease diagnostics, HealthTell is shopping out its technology to pharmaceutical partners, with an aim to find applications in drug development. Immunosignatures, it says, could help with patient profiling so as to improve the clinical trial recruitment process – as well as examine drug response among trial participants.