Sidekick Well being grabs $55M for digital first care packages

Digital therapeutics plus drugs? Iceland’s Sidekick Health has developed a gamified digital care platform that’s designed to assist healthcare outcomes by making use of personalised behavioral way of life nudges, together with alongside medical remedies like medication, to reinforce, lengthen and assist affected person take care of a variety of power illnesses and circumstances from most cancers to cardiovascular well being, diabetes and arthritis — a formulation that’s now scored it $55 million in Sequence B progress funding.

The brand new spherical is led by London-based VC agency Novator Ventures, with participation from Wellington Companions, Asabys Companions and Frumtak Ventures, in addition to a U.S.-based strategic investor which it’s not disclosing but however says will likely be revealed at a later stage. The 2014-founded startup raised a $20 million Series A back in 2020 from most of the identical buyers.

Because the Sequence B closes, Novator Ventures’ basic associate and founder Birgir Mar Ragnarsson is becoming a member of Sidekick’s board.

Commenting in an announcement, he mentioned:

It has been spectacular to observe the speedy progress of the corporate from the shut of its A spherical 18 months in the past. The corporate might have begun within the Nordics however I’m proud to say that Sidekick is now a globally acknowledged digital therapeutics participant. Novator Ventures acknowledges the immense alternatives offered by third-generation therapeutics and Sidekick’s capacity to scale and function on the international degree. We look ahead to working intently with the Sidekick group to remodel how healthcare is delivered.

Sidekick Well being nonetheless isn’t breaking out total buyer numbers (it’s a B2B digital well being enterprise so its concentrating on medical insurance companies and pharma firms) however says it’s inked partnerships with a few of the greatest names in healthcare — equivalent to U.S.-based Anthem to supply “digital-first” care packages, and international pharma giants Bayer and Pfizer, to develop what it describes as “built-in mixture therapeutics consisting of a molecular drug and a digital therapeutic.”

The startup tells us its platform has helped 40,000+ sufferers globally at this stage, with its merchandise at present accessible in six languages. It largest markets are Europe and the U.S., whereas it has workplaces within the U.S., Germany, Sweden and its dwelling market of Iceland. Flush with progress funding it says it has an enormous U.S. push deliberate.

“Europe and the U.S. are at present our largest markets however we’re forging some partnerships in Asia,” it tells TechCrunch. “However it’s early days, and we will likely be focusing laborious on rising our industrial footprint within the U.S. going ahead.

“Sidekick will use the funding to assist and increase our present U.S. presence. Our North American power and focus is exemplified by the latest additions of Pamela Stahl (CCO and president, North America) and Mitchell Mudra (COO) to the group. By 2026, it’s estimated a billion individuals will likely be served by some type of DTx [digital therapeutics] yearly. Coupled with the U.S. spending a really excessive proportion of GDP on healthcare, the U.S. is a market the place our services will obtain the strongest affected person outcomes.”

The startup tells TechCrunch it grew income threefold in 2021 — attributing that progress to a mixture of present and new industrial relationships. “This yr Sidekick plans to double our group from 120 to 240 group members throughout our 4 workplace areas,” it provides.

Pharma giants look eager on digital therapeutics not solely as a scalable software to (probably) increase the efficacy of their medication with app-based assist (e.g., by placing digital instruments in sufferers’ arms that may assist remind them to take drugs and assist them in different methods, equivalent to to make helpful way of life modifications round weight loss plan and train, or get on-demand assist with psychological well being points or ache administration, and many others.), however as a option to lengthen the worth of medicines — enabling drug giants to file new patents linking present medicines to digital therapeutic packages which are far cheaper and simpler to develop and iterate than he pricey enterprise of drug discovery and analysis.

“We’re constructing towards a portfolio of over 40 medical-grade digital therapeutics by 2026,” says Sidekick, discussing its product roadmap. “Presently, 18 are in Analysis & Growth, with a complete of 14 industrial partnerships secured to this point, both with payers or pharma companions or, in some circumstances, each.”

“Sidekick has commercialized digital therapeutic merchandise already, in therapeutic areas starting from rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and breast most cancers,” it provides. “We’ll prioritize a considerable quantity of our sources towards increasing our oncology portfolio, in addition to investing into elevated personalization, which can enable us to serve individuals with a number of power circumstances even higher.”

With Sequence B funding within the financial institution, Sidekick additionally has extra partnerships within the works — with three new collaborations set to be introduced within the coming months together with one centered on supporting sufferers with breast most cancers by serving to sufferers handle unwanted side effects.

The startup has printed numerous research aimed toward proving out the efficacy of its digital therapeutics — together with taking a look at use of its platform to scale back stress and fatigue in sufferers with inflammatory bowel disease; or this small feasibility examine into bettering illness administration for sufferers with ulcerative colitis; and this small randomized management trial inspecting use of its digital way of life program for outpatient therapy of Type 2 diabetes, to call a number of — and it says it takes “life science-grade proof technology very severely to make sure that we provide medical firms a clinical-grade product for his or her sufferers.”

“Prime 10 and 20 pharma and Prime 3 Payers are partnering with us on their ‘way forward for franchise’ property, in areas like oncology, metabolic, cardiovascular, and immunology and immunotoxicology,” it provides, suggesting that its “life science high quality proof rigor and strategy to precision drugs is driving this.”

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