Hope you all had a great first week of March. I’ve been enjoying the longer hours of sunshine and some of the 60-degree days here in Denver.
To start this week, I wanted to let you know we’re hiring for two new roles on the healthcare team! We’re looking to add another digital health reporter and another healthcare editor. You’d be working with me, editor Zach Tracer, and the rest of the fabulous team we have here at Insider. Interested in learning more? Let’s talk!
Meanwhile, this week, we chronicled the impact of having another vaccine available in the US, a rocky first day of trading for Oscar Health, and the arrival of 2021’s first digital health unicorn.
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Last Saturday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine, adding a third shot to the US vaccine rollout. As an added bonus: it requires just one dose.
That could dramatically impact what our summer looks like. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden said that we’ll have enough vaccines for “every adult in America” by the end of May.
Hilary Brueck and Andrew Dunn teamed up to argue that J&J’s vaccine is probably the best shot. That’s based the fact that it’s cheap, has mild side effects, and performs against the variants.
(What I got out of reading this post is that I shouldn’t write off the J&J shot just yet.) I’m still looking forward to one day getting a shot – any shot.
More useful news: COVID-19 vaccines are proving crucial in curbing the pandemic by slashing infections, hospitalizations, and deaths, Andrew reports. That’s according to data coming in from the vaccine rollouts outside of clinical trials.
After pricing at $US39 ($51) a share Tuesday night, Oscar Health slipped 11% in its first day of trading. Shelby Livingston reports. The shares continued their slide, and are now trading around $US32 ($42).
Oscar’s debut was a departure from 2020’s string of digital health initial public offerings, in which companies like Amwell, Oak. Street Health, and GoodRx all popped.
I’ll be curious to see what awaits Alignment Healthcare, a Medicare Advantage startup with more members than Clover Health. Clover, a rival in the Medicare Advantage health insurance market, went public via SPAC in January. It’s been in the hot seat after a short-seller report, and is currently trading down off where it debuted.
A big question that likely weighed on Oscar’s debut is one Shelby tackled in a smart analysis piece this week.
Leading up to its public debut, Oscar was just about as good at losing money as it was at raising it.
Its financials beg the question – Can Oscar ever turn a profit?
One giant question is swirling around the IPO of hot health insurer Oscar: Can the startup ever make money?
Even with Oscar’s disappointing debut, there’s seemingly no slowing down to startup funding.
This week, top biotech VC Arch Venture Partners and top tech VC General Catalyst filed paperwork to form a SPAC that’ll make a $US500 ($652) million bet in 2 of the hottest areas of healthcare, Allison DeAngelis reports.
And we got one of our first digital health unicorns of 2021 after DispatchHealth raised $US200 ($261) million at a $US1.7 ($2) billion valuation.
We got an exclusive look at the presentation that convinced Tiger Global and Humana to invest in a startup’s bold vision to do hospitalizations at home at a $US1.7 ($2) billion valuation
I’ll leave you with this feature from Allison on BridgeBio’s first drug approval.
Thoughts on reaching a year of lockdowns, tips on news we missed back in March 2020 when every story idea that wasn’t coronavirus-related got tabled? Questions about the jobs we have open?