Virta Health Appoints Dr. Robert Ratner, Former Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of the American Diabetes Association, as Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Ratner joins Virta during a period of significant change in type 2 diabetes care, as evidence mounts for sustainable reversal, and telemedicine becomes critical in the wake of COVID-19.
SAN FRANCISCO, California: Virta Health, the first company with a treatment to sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes (T2D) without medications or surgery, today announced that Robert Ratner, MD, FACP, FACE, former Chief Scientific and Medical Officer for the American Diabetes Association, has joined as Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
Dr. Ratner’s appointment comes at a crucial moment. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) and prediabetes affect 50% of the adult population in the United States, and contribute to over 30 deaths per hour.
Yet, Virta’s results provide hope for change. Peer-reviewed clinical trial data saw 60% of patients that completed one year of the Virta treatment achieve blood sugar below the diagnostic threshold for T2D while eliminating diabetes-specific medications. This impact was sustained at two years, at which point insulin use declined by 81% from baseline across the population.
These results, combined with Virta’s fully-virtual care model, are even more important today as global cases of COVID-19 increase dramatically. People living with T2D are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19 according to the Centers for Disease Control. Virta’s virtual medical clinic delivers world-class treatment, achieving excellent glycemic control for patients, while minimizing their exposure to the contagion.
“Our understanding of what is possible at scale in diabetes care is changing rapidly,” said Dr. Robert Ratner, Chief Medical Officer at Virta. “There's sufficient evidence that sustained remission is achievable for many, and this is why I am joining Virta—to help bring this life-changing option, delivered via a novel, virtual care model, to the millions of Americans who want it.”
The addition of Dr. Ratner, a forty-year veteran in diabetes care and research, follows Virta’s announcement of a $93M Series C funding round and key industry endorsements. In January, Virta added diabetes leaders to its advisory board, with backgrounds including Joslin Diabetes Center, Novo Nordisk, Medtronic, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Dr. Ratner has served as a Virta advisor since 2017, and his new appointment will help accelerate adoption and further development of the Virta treatment and Virta’s virtual care delivery capabilities.
"Dr. Ratner’s appointment, the addition of industry experts to our advisory board, and changes to the care guidelines by the American Diabetes Association together signal how the broader industry is evolving to prioritize chronic disease reversal and endorsing provider-led virtual care delivery models,” said Sami Inkinen, Virta Health’s co-founder and CEO. “Obviously we're excited about this shift and working hard to accelerate our efforts so that millions of Americans with type 2 diabetes and other chronic conditions can end their suffering.”
About Virta Health:
Virta Health provides the first treatment to safely and sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes without medications or surgery. Among enrolled patients in our clinical trial at one year, 60% achieved diabetes reversal and 94% of insulin users reduced or eliminated usage altogether. Results extend beyond diabetes reversal to other areas of metabolic and cardiovascular health, with sustained improvements in blood pressure, inflammation, liver function, and BMI. For enterprises, Virta puts 100% of its fees at risk and can reduce medical prescription costs by more than 70% in year 1 alone. Delivered through Virta’s novel continuous remote care platform, the Virta Treatment provides unparalleled medical and behavioral support and is transforming the lives of people living with type 2 diabetes. To learn more, visit us at www.virtahealth.com or follow us on Twitter @virtahealth.
About Dr. Robert Ratner, MD, FACP, FACE:
Dr. Ratner is the Chief Medical Officer for Virta Health, the first company with a treatment to sustainably reverse type 2 diabetes (T2D) without medications or surgery. Prior to Virta, Dr. Ratner was Chief Scientific & Medical Officer for the American Diabetes Association, the nation’s largest voluntary health organization leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® from 2012-2017.
Dr. Ratner is a Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical School. in Washington, DC. He completed a sabbatical as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, having served as the study director for the Institute of Medicine Comparative Effectiveness Research Priorities Committee, and a program examiner for health reform in the Health Division of the US Office of Management and Budget.
His research interests include diabetes prevention, therapeutics and complications, with an emphasis on translational efforts from controlled trials into community-based practice. He is the author of more than 120 original scientific articles and 20 book chapters.