Reflecting on 3 Years of Reversing Type 2 Diabetes at Virta Health

August 18, 2018
February 4, 2020

It is hard to believe that only 3 short years ago today on August 18th, 2015, we launched the Virta Treatment by enrolling our first clinical trial patient. Amazingly, it was only the night before that our small team of 10 people in San Francisco had finalized the first version of the software that would enable the continuous remote care required to deliver diabetes reversal.

Simultaneously, our research team was manually (and frantically, to be sure) packing Virta patient starter kits in Lafayette, IN, and making final preparations to welcome our first patients.

Our protocols, built on decades of research by Virta co-founders Drs. Stephen Phinney and Jeff Volek, were ready. In the context of a new care model to treat type 2 diabetes, though, there was uncertainty. Would it scale? Would the results be sustainable? We were confident, but no one really knew.

Fast forward three years and we can now acknowledge the clarity we’ve brought to this question and how far we have come. We have:

  • Published the Virta Treatment’s peer-reviewed outcomes showing rapid diabetes reversal, sustained and improved reversal outcomes at 1 year, and improvement in 22 of 26 cardiovascular risk factors at 1 year for people living with type 2 diabetes.
  • Created strong, long-term commercial partnerships and grown our patient population to include people from all walks of life, while making the Virta Treatment available in all 50 States
  • Demonstrated estimated payer savings of $9600 for the first two years of the Virta Treatment
  • Built a world-class team of more than 100 people who are passionate about serving others and willing to take on the challenge of bringing a new treatment model to the world of healthcare
  • Raised $75 million of equity capital from world class investors like Venrock, Allen & Company, Founder’s Fund and Playground Global

As a company, we believe it is important to celebrate accomplishments. Yet, we tend not to dwell on any one thing for too long—if you look at the diabetes landscape, you quickly see how much work there is to do.

What never gets old, though, is celebrating the successes of our wonderful and rapidly growing group of patients. Each one has inspired us to do more, while teaching us about perseverance and that getting healthy isn’t about improving numbers, eliminating medications, or even saving money. It’s about so much more:

  • Pat has regained energy, says he has never slept better, and now has become excited about his health for the first time in years
  • Cheryl found that she can now keep up with her granddaughters, and rediscovered her positive outlook on life
  • Matt was able to shed the worry and anxiety that comes with carrying medications everywhere he goes and constantly checking blood glucose
  • Denise found hope again after 20 years of living with diabetes

Anniversaries of any sort are a time to reflect, reassess, and set the course for the future. Our story, like those of so many of our future patients, is still largely unwritten. We are grateful for everyone who has helped us along the way, and for each of the individuals we’ve been able to serve in turn. Looking forward, we can’t wait until the day where we can say type 2 diabetes is a thing of the past.

Yet, we know this is a long way off. This might be our 3rd anniversary, but it’s still Day One at the office, and time to get back to our mission of reversing type 2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025.

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