Tethys banks $33M to promote predictive diabetes test

Fast-growing Tethys Bioscience has garnered $33 million from venture firms and lenders and plans to put the money to work beefing up its marketing effort for a predictive diabetes test that scans blood for seven key biomarkers.

Tethys President Mike Richey says he plans to field more sales reps armed with its PreDx test in the Mid-Atlantic, Great Plains states and in the South, where Type 2 diabetes has run rampant. Tethys' technology is designed to hunt out protein markers for inflammation, fat and carbohydrate metabolism and cell death in order to determine someone's chances of developing diabetes over the next five years.

Critics are quick to point out that the test doesn't do much more than a simple doctor's visit. But Richey calls PreDx "an absolute wake-up call" for people who need to take action to avoid developing diabetes. "We can decrease healthcare costs by $10,000 per patient per year by preventing it," he tells Xconomy.

Over the past year, Tethys has grown from 80 to 122 employees, and Richey tells the San Francisco Business Times that 20 more hires are expected before the end of the year. The fast-growing workforce has forced Tethys to expand its offices in Emeryville, CA. The company is developing additional predictive tests for cardiovascular ailments as well as the risk of suffering hip fractures among post-menopausal women.

Venture backers pumped in $23 million while Oxford Finance and Silicon Valley Bank provided a $10 million venture loan. Tethys' newest investors include Greenspring Associates, Paul Capital Investments, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Intel Capital and Aeris Capital. The company has secured more than $100 million in funding since its inception in 2005.

- here's the press release for more info
- read the story from the San Francisco Business Times
- check out the Xconomy piece