Please welcome OneHealth, a targeted technology for treatment of canine cancer
HQ: San Francisco, CA
Cofounders: Christina Lopes and Benjamin Lewis
The problem: More than 90 million dogs live in American households and, sadly, about one in three dogs will get diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. Although a handful of dogs may get into clinical trials that could extend their lives, there hasn’t been an affordable and accessible option for treating cancer for a broader population of pups.
OneHealth’s solution: OneHealth’s signature product, Fidocare, was created to effectively treat cancer in dogs by using gene sequencing to understand the specific genetic mutation responsible for an individual dog’s disease. With that information, Fidocare makes recommendations and a suggested treatment plan that pet owners and vets can act on.
Origin story: While in veterinary school, Ben’s rescue Doberman was diagnosed with bone cancer and was given only a few months to live. His dog was accepted into a clinical trial that tested immunotherapy — where the body mobilizes the immune system to attack its own cancerous cells. The dog lived for several years more, and inspired OneHealth. Seeing what truly targeted treatment could do, Christina and Ben founded OneHealth in 2016 to focus to providing better cancer care for all dogs.
Why we’re betting on it: Until now, a cancer diagnosis has been a death sentence for pets, yet new research has allowed us to treat cancer far more effectively in humans. Christina and Ben are bridging the gap between human and veterinary oncology and shifting the paradigm of animal health in the process. With experience that lies at the nexus of animal health and precision medicine, the OneHealth team is uniquely positioned to contribute to the fight against cancer and extend the lives of our dogs.
Our take: We’ve invested in companies like The Dodo, Barkbox, and Ollie because we understand the central role pets have in our lives. While there are many options for improving the lifestyles and daily care of our pets, there haven’t been nearly as many options for treating illness.
Our diligence has showed that animal medicine has dramatically improved in recent years, but treatment distribution has lagged. OneHealth is addressing this pent-up demand for better treatment of life-threatening diseases in animals by offering targeted, cutting-edge treatments.
Moreover, the link between animals and humans goes beyond companionship. Many of the cancers present in dogs affect humans as well. The outcome and treatment insights from Fidocure will present tremendous long-term value to research in the medical industry at large, while giving us more time with our pets.
Further reading: “Dog cancer treatment startup raises $5 million from Andreessen Horowitz and others” via TechCrunch