As part of the $6 billion launch of GE’s healthymagination initiative last year, the $250 million Healthymagination Fund was also created to invest in highly promising healthcare technology companies. The new equity fund has now made its first investment in the form of a $5 million strategic alliance with CardioDx , a cardiovascular genomic diagnostics company. The goal is to advance and co-develop genomic tests that are used in diagnosing heart disease. As Mike Jones, Executive Vice President of Business Development at GE Healthcare and Director of GE’s Healthymagination Fund, explains in the video clip below, “We’re not just looking to make investments in companies like traditional venture capital companies might. We are looking for financial returns. And we really source our transactions by first starting to try and find companies that we can develop a strategic business relationship with — and that can include product development, distribution, and co-marketing of products.”
Palo Alto, Calif.-based CardioDx is a pioneer in what’s called cardiovascular genomic diagnostics and focuses on coronary artery disease, cardiac arrhythmia and heart failure. In simple terms, genomics refers to the study of the entire genetic structure. For example, coronary artery disease (CAD) is a narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries that can lead to heart attack or death — and it develops due to a complex set of genetic, inflammatory and environmental factors, the company explains. Whereas today, patients with suspected CAD are diagnosed through a combination of non-invasive and invasive procedures, CardioDx instead uses a simple blood test that studies the expression levels (or activity) of specific genes and other patient characteristics clinically validated to indicate obstructive CAD. That, in turn, helps to quantify the likelihood of obstructive CAD and helps cardiologists and primary care clinicians determine which patients are in need of further assessment for the disease.
The end result can be a revolution in patient care as doctors are able to tailor treatments. As CardioDX explains, “Combining detailed information about an individual patient’s disease processes at the molecular and cellular levels with information from traditional non-invasive methods provides physicians with a more complete picture of their patient’s status. With this information, physicians are empowered to make more individualized patient care decisions.”
|Blood brothers: The strategic alliance is designed to provide growth capital for CardioDx and opportunities for joint research programs that will link scientists at GE Healthcare, CardioDx, and GE Global Research, which is the company’s technology development arm. With the alliance, there’s a greater likelihood that advanced diagnostics will be brought to market more quickly.|
Today’s deal is part of GE’s healthymagination strategy to deliver better healthcare to more people at lower cost — and it dovetails with GE’s current leading technologies in cardiovascular imaging and monitoring. The Healthymagination Fund targets three broad areas for investment: Broad-based Diagnostics, Healthcare Information Technology, and Life Sciences.
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* Learn more about GE Capital, Equity
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* Read more healthymagination stories on GE Reports
* Read fact sheets about CardioDx, its technologies and genomic science
Read more stories about GE Capital’s other investment funds in these GE Reports stories:
“Digital start-ups fly higher under Peacock Fund’s wings”
“Peacock Fund fuels Syfy & game guru Trion venture”