Cardiovascular diseases are on the rise. Many people are at risk of a heart attack or stroke and are simply unaware of it. Today, in the United States alone, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is recognized as top of the list killer of both men and women. CVDs can be understood as a heart condition where there are diseased vessels, structural problems, and blood clots. Interestingly, in most cases cardiovascular diseases are preventable, but it is still the number one clinically unmet need.
Therefore, in 2009, Jake Orville co-founded Cleveland HeartLab (CHL). The company established a simple and affordable set of scientifically proven tests that provide better insight into an individual’s risk for cardiovascular diseases. What started as a spinoff of the Cleveland Clinic has grown from 8 to 200 employees today. CHL founded on a strong will to develop and rapidly commercialize unique diagnostic technologies and applications in cardiovascular and inflammatory indications. In the December of 2017, CHL was acquired by Quest Diagnostics.
In its battle against heart disease, Cleveland HeartLab has set its goal to provide a complete picture of heart disease risk so that clinicians can deploy personalized medical programs and interventions to reduce that risk. Along the way, Cleveland Heartland has developed a robust R&D program to accelerate the clinical use of scientifically proven and medically relevant Biomarkers.
Journey to Excellence
It’s a curious fact that in 30% of the cases of heart diseases, the first sign is death itself. Moreover, 50% of those who have a heart attack or stroke have shown normal cholesterol when they visit their physician for an annual checkup. In most cases, clinicians are using cholesterol as the testing factor to identify heart-related risks. This in turn is causing a huge gap in care-based cholesterol testing.
Things began to change when Cleveland HeartLab began rolling out a more comprehensive and complete set of tests that can provide a better insight into cardiovascular disease. CHL conducts and analyzes tests for potential heart disease which are miles ahead of the standard diagnostics that only assess cholesterol levels. On the other hand, HeartLab uses basic blood or urine samples that are submitted by doctors from all over the US. By using multiple Biomarkers, the patient’s condition can be identified, like for instance, an inflammation of the arteries.
However, even as this advanced technology was rolled out, people were still unwilling to pay more for better technology, but certainly wished to use it. Hence, CHL ensured that the company provided additional education and information along with the innovative testing to its customers. This ensured that they were better informed and could educate clinicians and patients about the potential risk of only cholesterol testing and therefore the benefit of using CHL’s testing technology.
The reason behind CHL’s success is its unique go-to strategy that brought novel life-saving technologies to market effectively and efficiently. The first step was when it secured an important partnership with the Cleveland Clinic which opened doors for CHL to gain early access to key innovations.
The company was not only innovative, but also smart to focus only on technologies that met three key criteria - scientifically proven, medically relevant and commercially viable. This focus-driven combination and unique partnership with Cleveland Clinic has boosted the company growth. CHL’s ability to build a first in class clinical laboratory with R&D capabilities propelled CHL to become the innovation leaders within a crowded clinical laboratory space.
Although cardiovascular disease is one of the most preventable diseases, it still remains the number one killer in the US. By working with industry-leading clinicians, CHL is building an easy approach to solve this problem and help save lives. The company assures that a few years from now, it will be able to finally help remove cardiovascular disease as the number one unmet clinical need.
Under Jake Orville’s leadership, CHL was recognized as Ohio’s Venture of the Year in 2012. CHL received an Economic Impact Award by the city of Cleveland for job creation in 2013 and was also awarded the prestigious NorTech Innovation Award in the same year. The company is recognized as an Inc. 5000 fastest growing private company in the US in 2014. CHL’s testing has been published in more than 100 peer-reviewed journals.
Greet the Initiator
Jake Orville is the co-founder and CEO of Cleveland HeartLab. He has more than 20 years of diagnostic, life science and medical device management experience within both established and emerging markets. Jake continues to oversee Cleveland HeartLab and also serves as the General Manager for the CardioMetabolic and Endocrinology Franchise at Quest. Prior to co-founding Cleveland HeartLab, Jake was CEO of Prognostix and held Senior Management positions with two publically traded companies. He is co-founder of Viridian Medical and Tolera Therapeutics and currently sits on the Board of Directors for Stealth Therapeutics and The Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation. A well-recognized entrepreneur, he has given many lectures on commercialization, early stage ventures, technology transfer and intellectual property. Jake received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and his MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
“CHL’s ability to build a first in class clinical laboratory with R&D capabilities propelled CHL to become the innovation leaders within a crowded clinical laboratory space.”
“CHL’s testing has been published in more than 100 peer-reviewed journals. This was a labor of love in the truest sense to help people live longer.”