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Exclusive: Twin Health gets $50M injection for metabolic care

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Metabolic care startup Twin Health raised $50 million in Series D funding, Jahangir Mohammed tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Mounting research suggests a remote approach can help people with diabetes manage the condition.

Details: Temasek led the round and existing investors Iconiq Growth, Sofina, Peak XV and Helena joined.

  • Funds will go towards honing Twin's tech and hiring more growth and engineering staff.
  • The Series D follows Twin Health's $140 million Series C round in 2021.
  • Mohammed declined to say when he foresees Twin raising again, adding that he hoped to "escape another round."

How it works: Based in Mountain View, Calif., Twin connects its users with a provider and a coach and equips them with a set of Bluetooth-connected sensors including a continuous glucose monitor, heart rate monitoring watch, and blood pressure sensors.

  • Through its app, Twin users journal symptoms, energy levels, mood, and current medications so the company can recommend personalized changes.
  • The company also performs three to four blood labs on each user per year to create its so-called "digital twin model" of their metabolic system.
  • Twin goes at risk with employers and health plans, meaning its customers pay the company when their employees and members get results.

Be smart: The authors of a study conducted during the COVID pandemic published in the journal Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics concluded that telemedicine-based approaches to diabetes management "have now proven to be the best option and, in many cases, the only option for providing critical health care."

Zoom in: Twin is currently conducting two randomized controlled trials — one in India and one in the U.S. — analyzing whether people using its approach can successfully enter diabetes remission or "reversal," per Mohammed.

  • The company in September funded and published a study (whose authors included Twin Health employees) in the journal Endocrine Practice suggesting its approach lowered average blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and helped manage fatty liver disease linked to metabolic dysfunction.

The intrigue: Per Mohammed, Twin's core differentiator from its rivals is its focus on disease reversal using physicians and coaches the company employs full time.

What they're saying: "If you want to do truly soulful work, you don't cut corners with contract[ed employees]; it does not work," Mohammed says.

State of play: Virtual diabetes management emerged as a major proof point for telehealth during COVID, and several companies in the sector have succeeded in drawing a mix of early- and late-stage funding even amidst tough market conditions.

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