WeightWatchers Announces Plans to Buy Obesity Treatment Platform Sequence
WeightWatchers announced its plans to purchase Sequence, a subscription telehealth platform specializing in treatment for people with obesity. The acquisition will cost WeightWatchers $132 million and will be completed in the second quarter of the year, the company said in a press release Monday.
Sequence, a startup that launched in 2021, gives patients the option to request anti-obesity medication along with their monthly membership. The company has about 24,000 members in the U.S. as of February. The purchase will allow WeightWatchers to continue providing its members with nutritional and behavior change information, while pairing it with the optional obesity treatment medication through Sequence if eligible.
“As science advances rapidly, we know there's a significant opportunity to improve outcomes for those using medications," said Sima Sistani, CEO of WeightWatchers. "Clinical interventions require better education, access, care management, community and the integration of a complementary lifestyle program for best results. It's our responsibility, as the trusted leader in weight management, to support those interested in exploring if medications are right for them.”
Total Retail's Take: Incorporating prescription medications alongside WeightWatchers' lifestyle program is likely an attempt to revitalize WeightWatchers, whose performance has sagged over the last year. Shares of the company were down 57 percent from the year before, according to CNBC, before spiking Tuesday after the company's announcement of the Sequence acquisition.
The pivot back to focusing on weight loss comes after WeightWatchers rebranded itself in 2018 as a health and wellness organization that goes beyond weight loss. Under former President and CEO Mindy Grossman, the company recast itself as a technology experience company and a "partner in health sustainably," Grossman told "The Today Show" in 2018.