Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Personalized Medicine Firm Newtopia Garners Investment from Bloom Burton

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Investment bank Bloom Burton & Co. is proving funding to Ontario-based personalized health firm Newtopia, the company announced today.

Bloom Burton's support follows the announcement in October that the international insurance underwriter Argo Group US will invest in Newtopia and use the company's personalized medicine services across its US employee base to reduce corporate healthcare costs.

Newtopia markets a platform that encourages people to make lifestyle changes based on genetic testing results, a mobile plan, a coach, and engagement with a social health community. The program is specifically aimed at employees at risk for metabolic syndromes, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

A year ago, the Aetna Innovation Lab said it would launch a pilot program involving 500 Aetna employees to gauge if Newtopia's genetic testing and coaching program could reduce their risk of metabolic syndromes over the period of a year. In this project, study participants receive a saliva-based test and learn about what their genes say about obesity, appetite, and behavior. Factoring in the test results and an online assessment, Newtopia crafts a personalized plan for each participant and matches them to a coach, who will help them maintain a healthy weight and engage them in a metabolic syndrome risk-reduction plan. The project investigators then measure the changes in patients' outcomes before and after the testing and coaching interventions.

According to Newtopia, its program focused on metabolic syndromes has already shown to positively impact people's health metrics and has reduced yearly medical costs.

Newtopia did not disclose the amount Bloom Burton is investing in the company. With Bloom Burton's support, Newtopia plans to expand its employee base and business growth strategies, it said.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.