Diagnostics company Binx Health banks $65M to drive growth of point-of-care testing

Binx Health is a health technology company aiming to speed up the time between diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections with a point-of-care diagnostic solution.

The company developed the Binx io point-of-care molecular platform, an FDA-cleared, CLIA-waived system, that can be used in doctors' offices, urgent care clinics and hospital emergency rooms to quickly diagnose chlamydia and gonorrhea, the two most common sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. The testing service can be used for me and women and results are delivered in about 30 minutes. The company's point-of-care platform makes STI testing more convenient, accessible and discreet for patients, executives said.

Binx has built commercial traction and inked national partnerships with major distribution companies including Cardinal Health, Fisher Healthcare, McKesson and Medline to broaden its market reach.

The company secured $65 million in series F financing to help fuel its growth, the company announced Thursday. The cash infusion includes equity, debt and expanded lease facility financing to support commercial sales and high-volume manufacturing to meet market demand, Jeff Luber, Binx's CEO said.

Hildred Capital led the round, with participation from EQT Life Sciences Partner.

The company has raised $250 million to date.

Binx initially had two offerings—its point-of-care testing business and an at-home testing service. In December, the company sold its consumer testing business to home health test provider Imaware fr an undisclosed sum.

The company has since pivoted to focus solely on its point-of-care offering. And, it's a market that has room for more innovation with a long runway for growth, Luber said.

"Since the dawn of diagnostic testing, the model for sexual health and wellness testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea has been about collecting a sample in a primary care location, sending that sample out to a central laboratory for test process and then a patient and a doctor getting an answer, sometimes up to 10 days later," he said. "The problem with that is a lot of bad things happen in that intervening period—infection continues to spread and people continue to have sex. Forty percent of people who are positive never come back for treatment. And that is why there is an epidemic."

Binx io point-of-care testing device
Binx io point-of-care testing device (Binx Health)

Rates of sexually transmitted infections have been rising steadily since 2017. Surveillance data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis increased between 2020 and 2021 in the U.S., totaling more than 2.5 million. Gonorrhea rates increased more than 4%. Syphilis rates surged, increasing nearly 32% for combined stages of the infection. Rates of chlamydia infection increased nearly 4%, CDC data show.

According to the World Health Organization, there are more than 1 million STIs are acquired every day worldwide, the majority of which are asymptomatic. Each year there are an estimated 374 million new infections with one of four curable STIs: chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis.

The limitations of current testing solutions can often mean a delay of days to weeks between testing diagnosis and treatment, which can result in a lack of follow-up care, further infection spread and antibiotic resistance stemming from inappropriate empiric treatment, according to the company.

"The way to break the back of that problem is to collapse the time between testing and treatment, while the patient is in the clinic. You've got the same samples collected, but instead of sending it out, now it can be run in the clinic, if there's a device that can do it, in about 30 minutes. If the patient is positive, the doctor can sit down and talk with the patient and say, 'You're positive, it's very important to take this medicine, it's highly curable. Here's a prescription, pick it up on the way home.' Just that conversation alone can change healthcare," Luber said.

Among its recommendations to tackle the STI epidemic, the CDC supports making STI testing and treatment more accessible, including through the development and approval of point-of-care rapid tests and self-tests, and by expanding ownership for STI testing and treatment to more organizations and settings.

Binx Health plans to use the $65 million cash infusion for commercialization and to support manufacturing scale. The company has manufacturing partners in Ireland and China. "Those processes are scaling and have really attractive cost of goods profiles. We've now signed up four of the biggest medical device distributors in the world by the end of last year, Fisher Healthcare, McKesson, Cardinal Health and Medline, we're using these dollars also to support those efforts," Luber noted.

He added, "We also put in place expanded equipment leasing facilities. One of the keys to our business model is the placement of hundreds of these instruments around the country. This lease facility gives us the ability to be able to fund that working capital with a placement proceeds. It's holistic financing, including both debt, equity and lease facility, and that's important when you start to get this commercial inflection."

The company says it has now signed "multi-millions of dollars in forward contracts" with clinics converting to the Binx “test-and-treat” model for sexual health. 

Binx has replaced north of 200 of its Binx io devices in clinics and its commercial partnerships will help to turbocharge that growth to the provider market.

"There are 100 million sexually active, unmarried people in the U.S. There are about 35 million chlamydia and gonorrhea tests processed at central labs every year. That's what we're looking to disrupt. We offer a better value proposition for every one of those tests," Luber said.


As STDs proliferate, companies rush to market at-home test kits. But are they reliable?

Binx Health is not directly competing with central lab testing companies, Luber noted. "The big laboratories don't see us as a threat. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this problem. A lot of care is moving to the spokes away from the hub. If you're in a convenient care location or a school health clinic setting, why get the testing done on-site?" Luber noted. "We're shaping a deal right with a laboratory party."

Luber said Binx Health is focused on more fundraising to expand its testing capabilities to enable point-of-care diagnosis of trichomoniasis. "Once we got the technology, and the FDA is familiar with the product, and distributors are calling on these provider locations, so there's a lot of leverage in the business to expand the menu as we already have the infrastructure," he said. 

“Having identified Binx in 2021 as an early mover in an exceptionally large market for infection control, we’re thrilled to continue our support of the team through this high growth market phase,” said Andrew Goldman, co-founder and managing partner of Hildred Capital in a statement. “The market reception to the company’s offering has been exceptional. It’s gratifying to see so many patients now getting the answers they need under a test-and-treat paradigm enabled by the Binx io.”

Hildred Capital was founded by David Solomon and Goldman, both managing partners of the firm. The healthcare-focused private equity firm specializes in operationally intensive, control-oriented investments in lower middle-market companies. 

“Having been with Binx almost since its founding, we’ve had the special privilege of watching the company achieve its goals, overcome obstacles, and now position itself as the market leader in its space," said JR Rothe, EQT Life Sciences partner, in a statement. "With tens of millions of people, mostly young people, in need of same-day test and treat, Binx will be a force for a lot of good globally and we’re thrilled to be at their side through this next chapter of growth.”

There is a growing number of digital health companies trying to tackle the STI testing market, but most of the mare focused on at-home testing. 

Last fall, the FDA cleared its first at-home test for chlamydia and gonorrhea, amid steadily rising numbers of cases. Sold by LetsGetChecked, the over-the-counter Simple 2 test allows adults to collect a vaginal swab or urine sample within the privacy of their own home and then mail it to a lab for a result. 

TBD Health, a hybrid sexual health provider, launched an enterprise offering for digital health companies, with initial customers including Folx Health and Wisp. The former will have access to TBD Health’s at-home STD/STI test kits and diagnostics lab, and the latter to two brick-and-mortar clinics.

Evvy, a female-founded startup focused on vaginal health, also expanded into STI testing.