The obesity drug boom is forcing startups to rethink their business models.
The latest: Digital weight management company Calibrate is being sold to private equity firm Madryn Asset Management, per Business Insider.
Having previously invested in Calibrate, Madryn is committing additional financing as part of a broader restructuring that sees it assume control of the business.
Losing it. Founded in 2020, Calibrate attracted more than $160M in funding to prescribe GLP-1s like Ozempic. But, the company has encountered growing pains fueled by increased demand, drug shortages, and lack of insurance coverage.
Facing criticism from consumers, Calibrate laid off ~250 staffers in two rounds of job cuts — the first came last August, followed by another this April.
Pivot point. Mirroring a broader shift among obesity drug providers, Calibrate debuted its employer offering in December 2022, declaring its ambition to be an enterprise-first business.
Now, as Madryn takes over, expect to see Calibrate’s strategy evolve further in pursuit of sustainable revenue and profitability.
Looking ahead: With obesity rates soaring and most people interested in trying GLP-1s, the race to prescribe these shots has just begun. But, despite the promise of a panacea, concerns over side effects, price, and the need for sustained behavior change raise red flags over downstream implications.