DayTwo, the food as medicine company that uses gut microbiome profiling to deliver precision nutrition, is the sole winner of the Roche Diabetes Care Innovation Contest.
“DayTwo is proud to be recognized by Roche and MATTER as the winner of the Roche Diabetes Care Innovation Contest. DayTwo looks forward to collaborating with Roche to leverage DayTwo’s microbiome platform and food as medicine solution with Roche’s Diabetes Care Ecosystem” said Lihi Segal, CEO and Co-Founder, DayTwo.
“We see a mountain-sized opportunity ahead of us — but thanks to the accelerator program our perspective has been sharpened and exciting opportunities are becoming visible right below the surface.” said Aaron Del Duca, Vice President of Microbiome Platform at DayTwo. “When we think of combining Roche’s strengths with our own knowledge base, we see a tremendous opportunity.”
Marco De Polo, head of strategic insights and open innovation at Roche shared, “At Roche we have discovered the unmet customer needs we want to target for value creation, and through this program, our goal has been to find the innovators out there who are expertly positioned to address those needs. DayTwo is one of those companies that is perfectly positioned to address unmet patient needs and solve multiple problems through a personalized nutrition solution.”
DayTwo’s medical nutrition therapy has been validated, in both clinical and employer-based settings, in lowering A1C and increasing Time In Glycemic Control, without the need to eliminate carbs or restrict calories. DayTwo’s diabetes clinical trial was conducted in partnership with Mayo Clinic and published in JAMA in 2019 and its recent prediabetes clinical trial was keynoted at the ADA’s 80th Scientific Sessions on June 14, 2020.
Facing more than 60 rivals, DayTwo emerged as the winner in Roche’s 2020 Diabetic Care Innovation Contest. DayTwo’s victory in June 2020 followed four months of competition that included an on-site bootcamp in Chicago, according to Alan Spiro, M.D., DayTwo’s SVP for Clinical Affairs.
DayTwo’s food-as-medicine solution, based on clinical strong research, shows that Food Prescriptions™ can be precisely tailored for individuals based on each person’s unique microbiome, when predicted by a machine learning algorithm, explains Dr. Spiro. Individual users access DayTwo’s smartphone application to navigate what specific foods and meals they can choose to balance their blood sugar levels. “DayTwo is the only evidence-based, actionable, microbiome platform in the market today,” said Lihi Segal, DayTwo’s Chief Executive Officer. Segal adds that DayTwo’s nutrition protocols have shown to have a meaningful impact on A1C and time under glycemic control without the need to eliminate carbs.
On February 3, 2020, Roche Diabetic Care, a division of F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., and MATTER, a Chicago-based startup incubator, launched the Roche Diabetes Care Innovation Contest in Chicago. Roche Diabetes Care focuses on providing personalized diabetes management. Contestants justified how their digital or device-enabled solutions could work with Roche to help improve diabetes management. The winner would earn a $20,000 cash prize, a one-year membership with MEMBER, and a pilot opportunity with Roche Diabetes Care. Dr. Spiro spearheaded DayTwo’s team.
Roche and MATTER picked DayTwo and 9 other semi-finalists to participate in a three-day bootcamp in Chicago beginning February 3, 2020, Dr. Spiro said. The semi-finalists pressure-tested their ideas along with subject matter experts from Roche and MATTER. Teams participated in a series of workshops, case study presentations and mentorship sessions to help them validate and refine their business case. “They were seeking a holistic solution,” Dr. Spiro points out. “We had to explain our solution 40 different times to various panels of experts. Each panel would offer us advice to help us refine our business case.”
On March 30, 2020, DayTwo and the other semi-finalists advanced their solutions to a panel of Roche judges. “We were given seven minutes to make our proposal,” Dr. Spiro said. Following the presentations, the Roche panel selected DayTwo and three other finalists for another round of competition. Dr. Spiro said DayTwo competed in a final 12-week accelerator program to develop a proposed pilot program for Roche. “We did our final presentation on June 8,” Dr. Spiro added, “and we got the great news that we were the winner.”
What put DayTwo on top?
DayTwo’s team believes Roche was swayed by strong research showing that DayTwo’s Food Prescriptions™ can be precisely tailored for individuals through DayTwo’s machine learning algorithm, explained Dr. Spiro. “This cutting edge scientific approach has been brought to the public by DayTwo and Roche recognized how DayTwo stood out from the rest of the companies.” said Dr. Spiro.
“We fit right in with Roche’s diabetes technologies and services because of our software solution,” Dr. Spiro added. “Our product can integrate with wearables and other devices and help drive insights into Roche’s own program and solutions. DayTwo’s platform can make data actionable, and enable Roche to drive precision and improve diabetes management.”
As the winner, DayTwo now is working with Roche on a program in which DayTwo’s platform would complement Roche’s Integrated Personalized Diabetes Management Solutions. “DayTwo can help Roche expand its footprint into the employer and payor benefits space and expand Roche’s ability to offer products for other disease conditions often related to diabetes,” Dr. Spiro adds.
In a blog post by MATTER declaring DayTwo the winner, Roche leaders stated they were impressed by what the finalists had to offer. “At the end we asked ourselves ‘How do we pick?’ Each team had a really good story and proposal on how one plus one makes three,” said Stephen Ranjan, vice president of professional and non-insulin therapy franchise at Roche. “Each of these innovations have the potential to greatly complement what we are doing at Roche, the next step is translating this work to give patients true relief. We’re excited to focus on that.”
The center for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report points out that 26.9 million people of all ages—or 8.2% of the US population—have been diagnosed with diabetes. The CDC estimates that type 2 diabetes accounts for 90% to 95% of all diabetes cases in the United States.
DayTwo’s contest team included Aaron Del Duca, Vice President of Microbiome Platform, Alan Spiro, M.D., EVP of Clinical Affairs, and John Desfosses, Director of Program Operations.
Thank you to the distinguished panel of judges:
● Jörg Hölzing – Global Head of Strategy & Customer Solutions, Roche
● Christophe Mauge – Global Head of R&D and Digital, Roche
● Lisa Huse – Regional Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, Roche Diabetes Care
● Stephen Ranjan – VP, Professional & Non-Insulin Therapy Franchise, Roche
● Steven Collens – CEO, MATTER Health