Cue Health, a San Diego-based developer of home health tests including the first home test for Covid-19, filed for its IPO on Wednesday, marking the latest development in a series of events that had netted the company significant funds from the US government and private backers.
Their prospectus describes a goal to “usher in a new era in health care, what we call health care 2.0, to transform how acute and chronic conditions are diagnosed and managed.” No share price was specified in the SEC filing, however a total value for the offering of $100m was enumerated.
Cue, which will seek to trade on Nasdaq as HLTH, has been part of the fulcrum of home testing for Covid-19, becoming the first company to obtain emergency use authorisation from the US Food and Drug Adminstration for a COVID test for home use and over-the-counter sales.
Funding from various sources
The company received $481m in US government funds earlier this year, split between the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services. As Cue sought to use its cartridge-based technology in diagnosis and monitoring for other health conditions, the company earned backing from private investors to the tune of $235m. Johnson & Johnson Innovation and MSD Capital were among the entities that invested in accelerating Cue’s sprawl.
“We seek to enable the shift of care to virtual settings, while also connecting the physical care paradigm to the new digital ecosystem,” Cue’s prospectus said.
Alternative forms of health care ranging from video consultation services like Web MD to mail-in genetic mapping offerings like 23andme.com are no longer novel, but have seen a proliferation in response to gaps in traditional health care as well as the urgent necessities of the global pandemic.
Home testing for Covid specifically limited contact between potentially afflicted patients and others, including health care providers, as the virus had already placed unprecedented demands for testing on health care providers and businesses.
An accelerating industry
Butterfly Network, a hand-held ultrasound device manufacturer, was among the home diagnostic companies to go public in 2020 following a merger with Longview Acquisition. Their shares peaked at $29.13 in February, dropped to a low of $9.20 in May and currently trade in the $13 to $14 range. Though 2020 saw a serious uptick in interest in home health, according to a report from Rock Health, The first third of the 2021 calendar years saw more home health companies go public than all of 2020, with the overwhelming majority of companies have made their exits via special purpose acquisition companies or SPACs.
Competitors to Cue have also experienced pushes forward as home health has become a high-growth sector. Home tests for metrics that indicate heart health, food sensitivity, sexual virility and more, are under the umbrella of Everlywell, which closed 2020 with $175 million in Series D funding.
Cue said in its prospectus that its vision for individual health care should eliminate some of the cumbersome elements of in-person, centralised health care while also providing more accessible and comprehensive information to patients, along with price transparency.