Theranos rival HealthTell raises $26M to support its drop-of-blood diagnostics

HealthTell's peptide array platform--Courtesy of HealthTell

The unending wave of news questioning Theranos' once-vaunted technology for making diagnoses based on a single drop of blood casts doubt on the whole approach--but not enough to deter investors from funding other companies that are trying to use small samples of blood.

Arizona State University spinout HealthTell has raised $26 million from 25 investors including lead investor ThirdPoint Venture, according to an SEC filing and company release. About $9 million is left on offer. HealthTell has previously raised about $12.6 million in equity and $9 million in debt since 2013.

Using its high-density peptide array platform, the company claims to have "taken a snapshot" of the response of an individual's immune system to more than 30 conditions, including cancer, autoimmune diseases and Alzheimer's disease. 

HealthTell claims that its Chandler, AZ, manufacturing facility produces nearly 100,000 tests a year. The company is bullish about its parallel pharmaceutical industry services business to aid in development of companion diagnostics. "Our pharmaceutical customers continue to reinforce the need for new tools to stratify patients for drug development trials and to select patients most likely to respond to specific treatments," said HealthTell CEO Bill Colston in a statement. 

The company is aware of inevitable comparisons to Theranos and says that "it takes pride in being a transparent, data-driven company passionate about sharing our diagnostic technology with the world," MedCity News points out. HealthTell's website boasts a lengthy list of publications, designed to inform potential investors and other stakeholders about the validity of its technology.

Investors in HealthTell include Paladin Capital Group, Vital Venture Capital, Acadia Woods Partners, Cambridge Global Capital and the Broe Group, according to the company website.

Last year, the company announced that it expanded its area of focus to include diagnosis of Valley Fever and lupus with the appointment of two doctors to its team of scientific advisers.

- here's the release 
- here's the SEC filing
- here's more from MedCity News

Editor's Note: This article has been updated with additional information from a HealthTell release