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Exclusive: Phenomix scores $7.8M for obesity precision medicine

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Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Obesity precision medicine company Phenomix Sciences raised $7.8 million in fundraising and grants, CEO Mark Bagnall tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: A personalized approach might help unlock insights into how patients respond to new — but expensive — weight loss drugs like GLP-1s.

Zoom in: Out of the funding, $5.5 million was a Series A from a mix of new investors including Dexcom and Labcorp, plus insider Health2047.

  • Phenomix also received a $2.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

What we're watching: "We want to hold this round open through July to add additional investors and raise another $4 million," Bagnall tells Axios.

  • The company is not yet profitable.

How it works: Founded in 2017 and based in Minnesota, Phenomix offers a saliva test or buccal swab test supported by an AI-driven algorithm to provide a pathophysiological phenotype for obesity patients.

  • The company's MyPhenome tests, which retail at about $500 and aren't covered by insurance, deliver results in two to three weeks. Phenotypes include hungry gut, hungry brain and emotional hunger.
  • Phenomix sells its tests to obesity-focused clinician offices, with 40 customers now and "70 or 80 in the pipeline," Bagnall says.
  • Phenomix is also in conversations with obesity-focused pharmaceutical and device companies, and it's working with leading obesity drug manufacturers, he adds. He declined to disclose specific company names.

What he's saying: "We can't afford to fall behind in this fast-moving space, so we are prioritizing growth over profitability right now," Bagnall says.

  • "I would say if we were not in obesity, I might have a different answer."

Between the lines: Despite soaring demand for GLP-1s, certain patients may do better with older and cheaper treatments for obesity.

State of play: Obesity and weight management, as well as precision medicine, have seen a funding boom.

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