Digital therapy plus pills? Iceland Partner Health has developed a gamified digital care platform that is designed to support healthcare outcomes through the application of personalized behavioral stimuli to lifestyles, including along with clinical therapies such as medications, to increase, expand and support care for patients with a range of chronic diseases and conditions from cancer to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and arthritis, a formula that has now netted him $55 million in Series B growth funding.
The new round is being led by London-based venture capital firm Novator Ventures, with participation from Wellington Partners, Asabys Partners and Frumtak Ventures, and a U.S. strategic investor who has yet to be disclosed but is said to be disclosed at a later stage. . Founded in 2014, the startup has collected $20 million in Series A back in 2020 from many of the same investors.
As Series B closes, general partner and founder of Novator Ventures, Birgir Mar Ragnarsson, is serving on Sidekick’s board of directors.
Commenting on his statement, he said: “It has been impressive to follow the company’s rapid growth since the Round A closed 18 months ago. The company started out in the Nordic countries, but I’m proud to say that Sidekick is now a globally recognized player in digital therapy. Novator Ventures recognizes the tremendous opportunity presented by third generation therapeutics and Sidekick’s ability to scale and operate globally. We look forward to working closely with the Sidekick team to change the way healthcare is delivered.”
Sidekick Health has so far not disclosed the total number of customers (it’s a b2b digital healthcare business, so it’s targeting health insurers and pharmaceutical companies), but it says it has signed partnerships with some of the biggest names in healthcare, like America’s Anthem. “digital first” care programs and global pharmaceutical giants Bayer and Pfizer to develop what they call “an integrated combination therapy of molecular drug and digital therapy.”
The startup tells us that its platform has helped over 40,000 patients worldwide so far, and its products are currently available in six languages. The largest markets are Europe and the US, with offices in the US, Germany, Sweden and domestically in Iceland. Coupled with growth funding, the company says it has a big push planned in the US.
“Europe and the US are currently our largest markets, but we are building partnerships in Asia,” TechCrunch reports. “But this is just the beginning, and we will work hard to expand our commercial footprint in the US going forward.
“Sidekick will use the funding to support and expand our existing US presence. An example of our strength and focus on North America is the recent addition of Pamela Stahl (CCO and President, North America) and Mitchell Mudra (COO) to the team. It is estimated that by 2026 DTx will serve one billion people. [digital therapeutics] annually. Combined with the fact that the US spends a very large portion of its GDP on healthcare, the US is the market where our products and services will bring the best results for patients.”
The startup tells TechCrunch that its revenue has tripled in 2021, driven by a combination of existing and new commercial relationships. “This year, Sidekick plans to double our team from 120 to 240 across our four locations,” he adds.
Pharmaceutical giants are interested in digital therapy not only as a scalable tool to (potentially) improve the effectiveness of their medicines with app-based support (for example, putting digital tools in the hands of patients that can help them remind them to take their pills and support them in others). ways, such as making beneficial lifestyle changes related to diet and exercise, or getting on-demand help with mental health issues or pain relief, etc.), but as a way to add value to medicines — by allowing pharmaceutical giants to file new patents, linking existing drugs into digital therapeutic programs that are much cheaper and easier to develop and replicate than the expensive business of drug discovery and research.
“By 2026, we are building a portfolio of over 40 medical-grade digital therapeutics,” Sidekick says as he discusses his product roadmap. “Currently, 18 of them are in research and development, with 14 commercial partnerships so far with either payers or pharmaceutical partners, and in some cases both.”
“Sidekick is already commercializing digital therapeutic products in therapeutic areas ranging from rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and breast cancer,” he adds. “We will direct a significant portion of our resources to expanding our oncology portfolio, as well as investing in increased personalization, which will allow us to serve people with multiple chronic diseases even better.”
With Series B funding from the bank, Sidekick also has more partnerships in the works, with three new collaborations to be announced in the coming months, including one focused on supporting breast cancer patients by helping patients cope with side effects.
The startup has published a number of studies aimed at confirming the effectiveness of its digital therapy, including studying the use of its platform to reduce stress and fatigue in patients with inflammatory bowel disease; or is it a small feasibility study to improve the treatment of patients with ulcerative colitis; and this is a small randomized control trial investigating the use of his digital lifestyle program for outpatient care Type 2 diabetesand to name a few, it states that he takes “creating biomedical grade evidence to ensure we offer clinical companies a clinical grade product for their patients” very seriously.
“Top 10 and 20 pharmaceutical companies and top 3 payers are partnering with us on their ‘future franchise’ assets in areas such as oncology, metabolic, cardiovascular, immunology, and immunotoxicology,” he adds, suggesting that his “strict the evidence for the quality of the life sciences and the approach to precision medicine contribute to this.”
Credit: techcrunch.com /