Feb 9, 2022 - Health

Scoop: Everly partnership to offer home cancer tests to health plans

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Austin-based home testing company Everly Health is gearing up to partner with a leading home cancer testing company to offer its early-detection home cancer test to members of employer health plans, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Besides giving Everly Health a potential foothold in clinical testing, the deal serves as an early test of its (newish) enterprise division for employers and health plans.

  • Everly's enterprise arm, called Everly Health Solutions, could serve to lock elbows with large pools of employees and beneficiaries, a welcome addition to the company's existing, mostly consumer user base.

Driving the news: The pandemic-fueled boom in home testing crowded the playing field with businesses including Ro, Amazon and most recently Labcorp, which launched a new home testing platform last week.

  • Everly Health subsidiary Everlywell already sells a direct-to-consumer fecal immunochemical test for cancer that looks for hidden blood in the stool, which may be an early sign of colon cancer.

Flashback: Everly Health got its start as Everlywell in 2015.

  • In 2021, Everly scooped up three businesses -- the national clinician network PWNHealth, home testing company Home Access Health and fertility and pregnancy company, Natalist.

By the numbers: Everly Health is currently valued at $2.9 billion, according to PitchBook data.

  • Its latest infusion of venture capital came in March 2021 in the form of a $200 million Series E round.
  • The company's revenue grew 300% in 2021, Everly chief executive officer Julia Cheek previously told Axios.

Our thought bubble: In addition to giving Everly a presence in clinical testing, the deal shores up its national clinician network and underscores several trends that will dominate the digital health sector in 2022...

  • A proliferation of at-home testing and diagnostics services.
  • The continued M&A-driven consolidation of health tech companies large and small.
  • The addition of B2B divisions by companies that started out as direct-to-consumer (D2C) operations.

What they're saying: Everly's move into B2B operations is a smart one, analysts and industry observers say, but it will come with challenges.

  • "Right now the employer budget is the best budget and the hottest budget in digital health," says Steven Wardell, a growth consultant to health care companies.
  • That said, employers haven't yet taken a noticeable interest in at-home testing, so Everly will have to do a fair amount of education to prove its utility.
  • "Sometimes new arrivals get beachfront property in Malibu, sometimes they get arrows in their back," Wardell adds.

What we're watching: Will Everly's B2B partnership portend more activity for the company in the clinical home testing space? We'll be keeping an eye on our mailboxes.

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