DaVita joins $16 million investment in startup company with post-transplant rejection test
Joining previous investors, DaVita Venture Group led an investment round to fund NephroSant’s needle-free urine test that detects allograft rejection following kidney transplantation. The Series A funding round closed at $16 million.
The product, according to a press release, is “the first home-based urine test designed specifically for the detection of kidney transplant rejection, without the need of a costly and invasive biopsy.” It is also the first product from the company, which is a startup operating out of University of California San Francisco (UCSF).
“Transforming kidney care requires bold innovation, which is precisely why DaVita Venture Group invested in NephroSant and its game-changing solution that helps patients manage their transplanted kidney health,” Jeff Giullian, MD, chief medical officer for DaVita, said in the release. “As a transplant nephrologist, I look forward to a future where patients not only have greater access to a transplant but also can extend the life of a transplant with QSant.”
The release addressed some key features of QSant, which reportedly make it more “convenient” and “safe” than currently available tests. Firstly, the test does not require a 24-hour urine collection (a single urine void is adequate). Furthermore, the test is based on an algorithm that generates a rejection risk for each individual patient.
“We are very excited about the opportunity to work with DaVita, a recognized leader in kidney care,” Minnie Sarwal MD, PhD, CEO and founder of NephroSant, as well as a professor of surgery at UCSF, said of DaVita’s role. “Their expertise and experience provide the perfect complement to the vision and focus of NephroSant to redefine kidney health.”
DigitalDx Ventures also provided funding for the test, the release noted, leading its founder and managing partner, Michele Colucci, to comment on Sarwal’s contribution to kidney health.
“As NephroSant’s first institutional investor, we are honored to welcome DaVita Venture Group and follow them into this next round of funding,” she said. “Dr. Minnie Sarwal’s non-invasive urine tests for kidney health and transplant rejection are revolutionary, combining a patient centric approach and exceptional accuracy. We are very fortunate to be able to support this incredible female founder and play an integral role on the board as we pursue our mission to make quality health care more accessible to all.”