Vital Biosciences raises $48m for revolutionary blood diagnostic tech

Backers include Sam Altman and Marc Benioff as company seeks to create accessible diagnostics and expedite clinical interventions.

Diagnostics technology company Vital Biosciences has raised $48 million to bring to market its “revolutionary” blood testing product, the VitalOne. A compact device the size of a desktop computer, VitalOne conducts more than 50 lab-grade test results (95% of routine lab orders), with results available within just 20 minutes. The goal is to enable doctors to conduct tests, diagnose and treat patients in a single visit.

Investors in the Canadian company include OpenAI founder Sam Altman and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff, alongside Northpond Ventures, Labcorp, Inovia Capital, Route 66 Ventures, and others. The company plans to use the new funding to further develop the VitalOne product, conduct verification and validation activities, and to initiate clinical studies.

“We started Vital to make high-quality care more accessible to millions of people and realized how limited we were by our current diagnostic infrastructure,” said Vasu Nadella, CEO of Vital. “We seek to disrupt the $85 billion diagnostics industry by bringing lab-grade diagnostics everywhere and eliminating the impediments to proactive and accessible care.”

Vital says that the VitalOne, which is still in late-stage development and not yet available for sale, has undergone extensive testing and validation against gold-standard instruments. The company recently showcased the VitalOne at the annual meeting of the American Association of Clinical Chemist.ry, where it was the Audience Choice winner of the AACC Disruptive Technology Award.

Personalized, proactive, and accessible healthcare

Vital’s vision is to create a more personalized, proactive, and accessible healthcare ecosystem by reimagining point-of-care testing. By eliminating the need for patients to take extra time off work, travel between primary care and labs or wait days for results, the VitalOne aims to bridge the gap in accessible diagnostics and expedite clinical interventions to prevent adverse outcomes and disease progression.

“We live in a world where you can order a pizza and have it delivered in 20 minutes but your lab results take days,” said Mounir Koussa, VP of R&D at Vital. “That’s not okay. We want to ensure that diagnostics are available wherever and whenever they are needed, and that testing never becomes an impediment to treatment and care.”

The VitalOne will enable a comprehensive suite of lab tests at primary care access points, such as clinics, pharmacies and in-home care. By using advancements in microfluidics, computer vision, biochemistry and robotics, the VitalOne will be capable of running multiple types of lab tests in parallel, including hematology, clinical chemistry and immunoassays.

The VitalOne is expected to be simple to use, with automated sample preparation and quality control features to minimize user time and training while reducing the risk of errors. The initial planned test menus cater to various patient populations, spanning general wellness, elder care, women’s health and urgent care, effectively eliminating the need to send tests to central labs for most primary care patients.

Vital is now seeking partnerships with industry, academia and the laboratory medicine community for further evaluations and feedback.

Photograph: Vital Biosciences