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New York-based Calibrate, founded in 2020 by Isabelle Kenyon, is tapping into a category of weight loss programs offering a year-long metabolic reset that combines FDA-approved prescription medication with behavior therapy around food, sleep, exercise and emotional health delivered through one-on-one video coaching. The company offers the one-year metabolic reset for $129 per month or $249 for only the metabolic assessment.
Kenyon got the idea for Calibrate after her mother had a doctor’s appointment where she learned her mother’s weight was negatively affecting her health.
“I went searching and found a doctor who talked about GLP-1s (glucagon-like peptide-1), typically a diabetes treatment, but was FDA-approved for weight loss,” Kenyon told Crunchbase News. “It’s interesting that GLP1s are not stimulants, but there is a huge gap in knowledge about them to help weight loss, which is why doctors don’t know about them.”
The market for GLP-1s is promising: Approximately $500 million was spent on this category of medication for weight loss in the U.S. in the last year, compared with $11.5 billion for diabetes, she said.
The round is led by Threshold Ventures’ co-founder and Managing Partner Emily Melton, with participation from existing investors including Forerunner Ventures and Redesign Health. Calibrate has now raised a total of $27.6 million in the past year, including a $5.1 million seed round last June.
“Calibrate’s platform is enabling consumers to directly connect with decades of clinical research from a world-class group of clinical advisors,” Melton said in a written statement. “Obesity is America’s underlying pandemic, and science shows that sustainable weight loss is driven by improving our metabolic health. Calibrate is making that science accessible to consumers for the first time.”
The company first launched in four states, New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania, and has since added Illinois, New Jersey and Ohio.
The funding will be used to expand Calibrate’s technology platform so that it can continue to deliver positive clinical outcomes, as well as developing the first national registry of real-world evidence in the largest category of chronic disease, Kenyon said.
Since last June, the company has been growing 54 percent month over month, and early access members are achieving at least 10 percent weight loss, Kenyon said.
“About $290 billion was spent on weight-loss goods in the U.S. last year, so this is a category where consumers are used to paying for their own solutions,” she added. “We would never contest there are millions, perhaps billions, of ways to lose wait, and some work, but there are few that do long-term. You need biological intervention and medication. It is not fair to say willpower alone will do it, it is also about your biology.”
Photo of Isabelle Kenyon, founder and CEO of Calibrate, courtesy of the company.
Blogroll illustration: Dom Guzman