Dr Soon-Shiong acquires GlowCaps-maker Vitality

By: Brian Dolan | Feb 2, 2011        

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Vitality's GlowCapsPharma entrepreneur and billionaire Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong has acquired Vitality, the company that developed GlowCaps. Vitality CEO David Rose stated in the company press release that while the financial terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed, Vitality’s investors achieved a ten-fold return on their investments. In 2009 InformationWeek reported that the company had raised about $4 million, including investments from Dr. Soon-Shiong.

The Boston Globe reports that Dr. Soon-Shiong negotiated the deal with Vitality’s co-founders courtside at an LA Lakers game. Dr. Soon-Shiong is partial owner of the team.

Vitality’s flagship product, GlowCaps “illuminate, play a melody, and even ring a home phone so patients don’t forget to take their medication,” according to the company’s description. “GlowCaps send weekly emails to remote caregivers, create accountability with physicians through adherence reports, and automatically refill prescriptions.”

Dr. Soon-Shiong expects to help Vitality expand it product line up to other wireless health products for consumers. (Dr. Soon-Shiong is also the executive director of UCLA’s Wireless Health Institute — MobiHealthNews interviewed him in May 2009 about his views on wireless health.)

GlowCaps improved adherence rates in a study conducted by Partners Health Care by 27 percent — leading to adherence rates of 98 percent. AT&T has also been a big supporter of Vitality — its network provides the connectivity for GlowCaps. Earlier this month AT&T and Vitality announced they would begin selling cellular-enabled GlowCaps through Amazon.com.

“Our country needs a health care system designed to keep people healthy rather than waiting for them to get sick,” Soon-Shiong stated in the release. “As part of this goal, medication adherence is key. However, many people do not take their medications as prescribed which leads to unnecessary sickness and costly hospitalizations. GlowCaps addresses this problem brilliantly making the medication packaging smart.”

Vitality Co-founder and President Joshua Wachman was quoted in an interview with the Boston Globe: “Our roadmap is to create more things that help people make better decisions every day. We think about things like tracking vitamins and pills, the food you eat, your stress level, or your sleep quality. We’re really in the behavior-change business.”

Both Rose and Wachman will stay on as CEO and President, respectively, according to the company. Vitality will also keeps its management headquarters in Cambridge, MA, but it plans to hire additional local resources. It also already has teams in Los Angeles, San Diego and Toronto.

Read on for the full press release:

Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Acquires Vitality, Inc. Leads Effort to Expand Wireless Internet-Connected Technologies to Promote Healthy Consumer Behavior

CAMBRIDGE, MA and LOS ANGELES, CA – February 2, 2011- Vitality™, Inc., a developer of the first wireless Internet-connected smart pill bottle that improves medication adherence, today announced it has been acquired by visionary healthcare business leader, Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D. Dr. Soon-Shiong, who recently sold his second multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company in three years, has committed himself to developing better ways to deliver healthcare in the United States, both through multiple philanthropic endeavors and his myriad business ventures. His acquisition of Vitality, which is already enjoying success with the GlowCap™, will enable Vitality to expand its product line to other wireless products that promote healthier consumer behavior.

“Our country needs a health care system designed to keep people healthy rather than waiting for them to get sick,” said Soon-Shiong. “As part of this goal, medication adherence is key. However, many people do not take their medications as prescribed which leads to unnecessary sickness and costly hospitalizations. GlowCaps addresses this problem brilliantly making the medication packaging smart.”

AT&T was selected in 2010 to provide the wireless network connection for Vitality GlowCaps. Earlier this month, AT&T and Vitality announced the availability of GlowCaps on Amazon. “This is an exciting product for consumers who need a reliable means to establish and maintain a prescription routine,” said Glenn Lurie, President, Emerging Devices, AT&T. “The solution is simple, easy to set up and use and long overdue.”

“Vitality’s suite of connected health and wellness products dovetails perfectly with Dr. Soon-Shiong’s vision and expressed goals,” said David Rose, Chief Executive Officer of Vitality. “This transaction brings together like minds and provides us with an opportunity to embark on the next phase of growth.” Rose noted that while the terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the acquisition represents a 10-fold return on investment to Vitality’s investors.

“We also are proud of the emerging new business model for connected health that supports giving away GlowCaps to large populations,” said Joshua Wachman, Co-founder and President of Vitality. “Fortune 500 companies desperately need GlowCaps and other tools to control skyrocketing health care costs. Vitality’s acquisition fuels GlowCaps to become the industry standard for medication packaging.”

Vitality’s current management team will continue to work from its Cambridge, MA office and will hire additional local resources, complementing teams in Los Angeles, San Diego and Toronto. Vitality co-founders David Rose and Joshua Wachman will continue to operate Vitality as Chief Executive Officer and President, respectively.

About Vitality GlowCaps

Vitality addresses the billion-dollar adherence problem for pharmaceutical brands, retail pharmacies, and healthcare providers with a simple device — an Internet-connected pill cap. Vitality GlowCaps illuminate, play a melody, and even ring a home phone so patients don’t forget to take their medication. GlowCaps send weekly emails to remote caregivers, create accountability with physicians through adherence reports, and automatically refill prescriptions. Vitality improves medication adherence, health, and peace of mind. In June 2010 Partners Healthcare’s Center for Connected Health announced results from a clinical study measuring a 27% lift in adherence for users of Vitality’s GlowCaps.

About Vitality Inc.

Vitality develops Internet connected health and wellness products. With integrated wireless connectivity, web services, and behavioral psychology, Vitality’s products offer each patient the optimal mix of intervention, feedback, reminders, accountability, education, and incentives to improve their health and wellness. For more information on Vitality Inc. visit: www.vitality.net.