Merger positions the company to lead the Food as Medicine movement with new investment from the venture community.
NEW YORK CITY, NY, July 26, 2021 – MEND, a leader in acute condition-focused clinical nutrition and Upgraid, a leader in science-backed, plant-based products for holistic health, are joining forces. Together, the combined company offers quality, evidence-based nutrition with proven outcomes, inspired by the mission to make “Food as Medicine” easy for all. Moving forward, both companies and their products will live under the MEND brand.
MEND, co-founded by Eziah Syed, creates evidence-based clinical nutrition products that enhance patient outcomes and address undernutrition in patient populations. MEND is considered the standard of care at leading hospitals, particularly in the orthopedic space. Upgraid was co-founded by Justin Kamine and Helene Rutledge, a former C-Suite Innovator and Healthcare Industry Global leader at GSK, Pfizer, and the Bountiful Company, to create safe and effective organic alternatives, including behavioral support for a preventative lifestyle.
With $3.7M in new funding from major investors including Keen Growth, Tech Council Ventures, Blue.IO, H/L Ventures, and KDC Earth, the merged clinically-focused nutrition product portfolio and platform will be a leader in the Food as Medicine movement. “We are pleased to partner with the MEND team as they advance evidence-based outcomes through food as medicine. Chronic diseases affect far too many people and the opportunity to support prevention, mitigation and recovery through natural solutions is the future. MEND will help lead the way,”, says Jon Smiga, Managing Partner of Keen Growth Capital, an impact investment fund dedicated to health and wellness.
“Our emphasis on science and clinically significant results is earning the attention of the most discerning client segments” states Syed, “including more than 30 professional sport teams, the U.S. Military and Special Forces and major national physical therapy chains.”
Validating MEND’s products and approach is the trust earned from the medical community. In a recent panel discussion on clinical nutrition, Dr. Michael Suk, Chief Physician Officer at Geisinger Health System stated relating to clinical nutrition and MEND, “We’ve been able cut our lengths of stay by 50% and save the system over $1.5M annually from clinically driven protocols which include clinical nutrition.”
The combined company platform, MEND, targets specific health conditions and outcomes validated for efficacy and safety through randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials, prioritizing potent plant-based, organic ingredients. The newly merged company’s scientific approach is taking the best of evidence-based medicine to give consumers natural solutions that have real impact, allowing them to follow a prevention-focused lifestyle that reduces reliance on chemicals and synthetic drugs. In the innovation pipeline, MEND is actively working on broadening the solutions available in the product portfolio that will impact consumers’ health and the efficacy of targeted nutrition in healthcare.
Helene Rutledge, Co-Founder & President of the newly combined MEND, reflects on the merger: “We launched Upgraid to provide plant-based formulas to improve daily health to make “food as medicine” easy and accessible. With our complimentary missions, together as MEND, we can reach even more people experiencing lifestyle-based and surgical conditions. We look forward to expanding into more health categories and offering unique health-based, clinically-tested solutions to our customers.”
To learn more about the merger and the vision for the future for MEND, visit www.mend.me/mend-upgraid-merger/.
Founded and headquartered in New York City, MEND is a life sciences company with a mission to help people heal and live their healthiest. The company is currently researching and developing targeted clinical nutrition products to enhance patient outcomes, from injury and surgery, to aging and physical performance. Leading the science is Director of Research & Development Alexa Abdelaziz, who holds a PhD in Nutrition and Metabolic biology from Columbia University. MEND has been adopted by numerous hospitals, professional sports teams across all major leagues and the elite forces of the US Military.
Upgraid is a fully organic wellness company that drives healthy living by developing and leveraging the latest technology and market innovation. Based in New York and backed by institutional investors including Blue.IO, KDC and H/L Ventures, the company was founded by Helene Rutledge, a former C-Suite Innovator and Healthcare Industry Global leader at GSK, Pfizer, and the Bountiful Company, and Justin Kamine, a Forbes impact entrepreneur, rated one of the top 50 most impactful in the US in 2019. Upgraid’s Chief Science Officer is distinguished scientist Dr. Kim Biederman, who received her PhD in Pathology from the University of California. She is the inventor and author of 50+ patents and scientific publications.