Founded in the depths of the Great Recession, Brian Meshkin had the vision to help reduce and eliminate the prescription opioid abuse epidemic. Starting with Dr. Gregory Smith of Comprehensive Pain Relief Group (CPRG) located in southern California, Brian worked with the clinicians at this medical practice on initial studies to compare the genetic and phenotypic differences between chronic pain patients who had developed opioid use disorder requiring a medical detoxification program versus those patients who had not developed opioid use disorder. After 18 months of R&D, the first test algorithm was completed in June 2011.
With referrals from the initial clinicians at CPRG, Brian drove across California – from Fresno to San Diego – educating doctors on the science behind Proove® profiles, collecting specimens, shipping specimens to the laboratory, analyzing the results, generating test reports, and submitting bills to carriers. In September 2011, Proove received its first insurance reimbursement check. By January 2012, Proove had established payroll, had 5 employees, and had performed profiles generating hundreds of test reports.
Early in the Company’s history, Proove outsourced its laboratory services to an external provider. Seeing the Company’s initial lift, this lab wanted to acquire Proove in the fall of 2011. Unwilling to sell the business at this time, in 2012, Proove acquired Colwell Clinical Labs in Orange, California. By doing so, Brian consolidated Proove’s two small offices and its small number of employees working from their homes into its first “corporate office” and CLIA-certified laboratory in Irvine, California. In 2012, Proove expanded to over 20 employees and over $1M in revenue.
Throughout 2013 and 2014, Proove rapidly expanded – from 1 profile to 3 profiles, 20 employees to 200 employees, 2,000 billable reports to over 50,000 billable reports, and 6,000 sq ft in Irvine to an over 60,000 sq ft campus in Irvine, with a small office in Maryland. Not only did Proove vertically integrate its laboratory services, but also integrated its clinical research and revenue cycle functions. In 2014, Proove exclusively licensed intellectual property from UNC Chapel Hill based on the COMT haplotypes. This IP is an important part of the Proove Pain Perception® algorithm, which launched in Q4 2014. Despite this success, Proove had to overcome many challenges to its growth, including cash flow constraints, changes in reimbursement rates, and ensuring that the Company had the right people in the right roles.
In 2015, Proove collaborated with leading predictive medicine researchers and exclusively licensed three issued patents from the University of Utah Research Foundation which protect the Proove systems and methods of using patient physiological characteristics, which include laboratory values, genetics, vital signs, and other health record information in predictive analytics to deliver a report or alert to a medical professional. In 2015, Proove expanded its product portfolio to over 6 comprehensive profiles. At the beginning of 2015, Proove also attracted its first outside capital in the form of a convertible note from Leavitt Equity Partners. Proove also automated many functions, expanded its executive management team, and dramatically improved its technology infrastructure with internal software development.
As Proove has expanded, the organization has matured. In early 2016, Proove received accreditation from the College of American Pathologists (CAP), one of the most rigorous accreditation standards for a laboratory. In 2016, Proove continued its rapid expansion almost doubling its 2015 performance across all metrics. With its pace of growth, Proove has been expanding its infrastructure to accommodate such growth. In 2016, Proove completed its first external financial statement audit for years 2014 and 2015, added an experienced internal legal team, quality and compliance group, and prepared to launch a full-time sales force. In 2016, Proove was ranked as one of the fastest growing companies in America, being listed on the Inc 500 and Deloitte Technology Fast500 lists – despite not having a full-time sales force. The Company terminated its part-time distributors who generated leads for the Company and prepared for the next stage of growth and opportunities. Proove’s CEO was also selected as a winner of the 15th Annual Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award by the Orange County Business Journal and the 2016 Emerging Technology Company CEO of the Year by the Orange County Technology Alliance.