Dispensed: One Medical's stock market debut, a playbook for the gene therapy business, and a startup quietly powering the companies that ship prescriptions to your door

Dispensed: One Medical's stock market debut, a playbook for the gene therapy business, and a startup quietly powering the companies that ship prescriptions to your door



Welcome to Dispensed, Business Insider's weekly healthcare newsletter, in which we're keeping a close eye on One Medical stock price as it starts trading Friday after pricing at the bottom of its range last night.

With earnings season in full swing, it's been a busy week.

Are you new to the newsletter? You can sign up here.

Let's dive in.


One Medical IPO opening bell

One Medical is soaring in its stock-market debut

One Medical priced its IPO at $14 a share, the low end of its $14-$16 range, raising $245 million at a $1.7 billion valuation.

The stock started officially trading late Friday morning, opening at $18, climbing north of $20 a share by midday, up more than 40% from where the stock priced Thursday night.

We'll be following along and keeping that post (no paywall!) updated through the first day of trading.

We've also got a breakdown of the investors and a rising-star executive that are part of the One Medical team.

It's been interesting to think through how the public markets value a primary care company, considering that most are privately held or an aspect of a larger organization. One Medical's IPO should give a pretty good indication of what we might see if others try to enter the public markets as well.


In particular, I've been trying to figure out where One Medical's financials stack up next to other startups looking to do primary care at a national level.

So I spoke to Farzad Mostashari, CEO and founder of Aledade, and he gave me an exclusive look at the company's 2020 financials for its model (which is, of course, different from One Medical's). Read on for more on the difference and how the results compare.

If you haven't subscribed to BI Prime yet, use my link here to get 20% off your BI Prime subscription.

Over the holidays, I made a trip over to Deerfield, Illinois to catch up with the executive team at Walgreens. One of the main questions I had going into the meeting was, "Can a standalone retail pharmacy company exist in 2020?" given the issues of declining reimbursement hitting pharmacies, and the bet CVS Health made when it acquired a health plan.

We talked a lot about Walgreens' partnership strategy, in which it's betting it doesn't need to own all the pieces of the healthcare system. The latest: a physical manifestation of its partnership with Microsoft. Learn more about how the company is betting on a plan investors have largely written off.

Walgreens Microsoft Health Corners

Walgreens was the worst stock in the Dow last year. Its CEO is betting a partnership with Microsoft can help it recover.

Meanwhile, Andrew Dunn has been keeping his eye on biotech earnings this week, looking for interesting tidbits among the remarks from executives and questions from analysts. In particular, it's been interesting to see the business of gene therapies mature.

Novartis' earnings gave us another look at how that's playing out.

Novartis just laid out the playbook for making its $2.1 million gene-therapy treatment a blockbuster. Here are the next steps.

  • The pharmaceutical giant Novartis has treated about 200 infants with Zolgensma, its $2.1 million spinal-muscular-atrophy gene therapy, the company said on Wednesday.
  • Early sales have largely exceeded Wall Street's expectations, with Novartis reporting $361 million in Zolgensma revenue since its commercial launch.
  • CEO Vas Narasimhan outlined the company's 2020 plans to launch internationally while expanding the US market by studying a broader patient population and boosting newborn-screening rates.
  • US regulators are expecting a flurry of gene-therapy approvals in the coming years, with more than 900 active experimental-drug applications in this area.

Andrew also tuned into Biogen and has the rundown of what we learned - and as importantly what we didn't learn yet - about the biotech's key Alzheimer's drug aducanumab.

Bonus: A reminder of just how wild biotech stock charts can be, looking back at Biogen's 2019 which featured both a precipitous drop after declaring aducanumab a failure in March before resurrecting it in October. Check it out!

Elsewhere this week, I had the scoop on Wheel, a startup quietly powering the virtual doctor networks of direct-to-consumer healthcare companies. Formerly known as Enzyme Health, the Austin-based startup raised $13.9 million in its series A led by CRV's Kristin Baker Spohn.


I talked to Spohn and Wheel CEO Michelle Davey to learn more about the startup's ambitions.

Meet Wheel, the company quietly powering the doctors behind the companies who want to ship prescriptions like Viagra and birth control straight to your door

It's been interesting to me to watch the ecosystem around DTC healthcare companies spring up, betting that companies that are in the business of shipping prescriptions and acquiring patients can't do it all. I'll be curious to see what others arrive on the scene in the next year or so.

I'll leave you with some conversations the BI healthcare team had over the past few weeks.

What'd you think of the One Medical IPO? Who are you betting is the next health-tech company to go public? Send all tips, speculations, Super Bowl recipes, etc. to me at lramsey@businessinsider.com, or you can reach the whole healthcare team at healthcare@businessinsider.com.

Have a great weekend!


- Lydia

Digital Health Pro

Featured Digital Health Articles:
- Telehealth Industry: Benefits, Services & Examples
- Value-Based Care Model: Pay-for-Performance Healthcare
- Senior Care & Assisted Living Market Trends
- Smart Medical Devices: Wearable Tech in Healthcare
- AI in Healthcare
- Remote Patient Monitoring Industry: Devices & Market Trends