Arivale, the Seattle-based scientific wellness company founded by genomics pioneer Leroy “Lee” Hood, is taking its genetic analysis and personal coaching program national with lower pricing for its flagship offering and the introduction of two entry level kits, targeting weight loss and heart health.
At an event Thursday night at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry, the company introduced a streamlined “Arivale Baseline” program that costs $999, replacing its previous $3,499 year-long program. The new program offers blood and genetic analysis with three coaching calls, plus text and email communication with a coach between calls to translate the results of the testing into an action plan for lifestyle changes.
In addition, the company introduced two programs that target heart health ($159) and weight loss ($169). Those include Helix DNA saliva-based testing kits, genetic insights, a coaching consultation and an action plan.
The new structure makes Arivale more competitive with other genetic analysis programs, most notably 23andMe, the Silcon Valley-based genetic testing company that has raised nearly $500 million in funding and offers health and ancestry testing for $199. However, Arivale CEO Clayton Lewis sought to differentiate his company’s approach in an interview with GeekWire at the event Thursday night.
“23andMe still only looks at genetic data,” Lewis said. “We do most of our coaching on the blood biomarkers, and then of course we bring in microbiome, saliva, and and so we’re taking a systems approach. The second thing is, I’ve yet to meet someone who goes through 23andme and says, ‘They gave me an action plan for how to optimize my health.’ I have a lot of respect for what they do … but our goal is to bring the data to life.”
Hood led the Caltech team that pioneered the automated DNA sequencer, providing unprecedented insights into personal genetic makeup. He has been involved in the creation of more than 15 biotech companies, including Amgen, Applied Biosystems, and Rosetta. His impact on biotech has been dubbed “The Hood Effect.”
Arivale launched publicly in 2015 and has raised more than $50 million to date. GeekWire readers voted the company Startup of the Year in the 2016 GeekWire Awards. Hood said when the company launched that it “really stands a chance of being the Google or Microsoft of this whole arena” of scientific wellness.
Speaking to the crowd last night, Hood said his goal is to create a new wave of “wellderly” people who get into their 80s and 90s in excellent health without any serious problems, ultimately dying in their 100s “by virtue of a total systems failure.” As the crowd laughed, Hood explained his reasoning with his trademark grin: “The enormous advantage of that is it’s very quick, and you don’t spend a lot of money dying.”
Lewis joked later, “So I think that’s a good idea, to be aiming for a total systems failure.”
Hood told GeekWire after his talk that the new Arivale pricing structure and national rollout aims to make the program more accessible. “I would say the key to scientific wellness is democratization — making it available to everyone, be they well-off or be they resource-constrained, and I think what’s critical to doing that is creating a series of programs that require different levels of resources,” he said.
Daniel Rossi, GeekWire’s chief business officer, has been participating in the Arivale program, as documented in this ongoing GeekWire series, and the company invited him to speak to the crowd last night about his experience using the program to address his Type 2 Diabetes. Stay tuned for future updates on Daniel’s progress.