Investing & Startups| September 26, 2019
InsightRX Lands $10M in Funding to Optimize Medication Dosage
Precision medicine company, InsightRX has closed a $10 million Series A financing round. The funding is to be used to broaden the startup’s therapeutic areas and provide additional hospitals and pharmaceutical companies with access to its technology.
HealthX Ventures led the funding round; there was also participation from Rock Health, OSF Healthcare, Leawood Venture Capital, Premier Inc., and earlier investor GreatPoint Ventures.
The startup, which was founded in 2015, has raised a total of $13 million since its inception.
The platforms InsightRX is growing
InsightRX has built a cloud-based platform, InsightRX Nova, which integrates with hospital electronic health record (EHR) systems and enables clinicians to individualize medication dosing regimens at the bedside.
In a statement, the company explained that it employs patient-specific data, quantitative pharmacology models, and Bayesian forecasting to understand each patient’s pharmacological profile to guide treatment decisions.
“The quantitative pharmacology models are continuously improved over time using real-world clinical data and human-assisted artificial intelligence processes that leverage the team’s deep pharmacology expertise and various machine learning and modeling techniques,” the statement said.
The Forbes website explained that using patient-specific data, quantitative pharmacology models and Bayesian forecasting, which is what the InsightRX platform does, was beneficial because it increased the likelihood drug concentrations remain within a known therapeutic range. This gives clinicians more confidence when prescribing drugs such as powerful antibiotics that can, in excess, cause deafness or kidney injury; or chemotherapy drugs that can cause blood clots or organ transplant failure.
Mark Bakken, a general partner of HealthX Ventures, said the company’s platform and “unique value proposition will improve treatment effectiveness for commercially available drugs in the hospital setting while allowing pharma companies to start incorporating precision dosing early on during the drug development process.”
Furthermore, the company said its InsightRX Nova platform was optimizing treatment across more than 100 drug and therapeutic areas, including oncology and infectious disease.
“The future of healthcare relies on individualizing therapy and improving patient outcomes by providing clinicians with tools to make better treatment decisions. Our platform individualizes dosing at the point of care and establishes a data-driven framework to continuously learn about treatment effectiveness — and the underlying factors influencing drug response,” InsightRX co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sirj Goswami, said.
In addition, the startup has developed the InsightRX Apollo, which provides aggregated analytics. The aggregated analytics allow hospitals and care teams to improve treatment responses and discover novel factors that have an impact on drug efficacy and toxicity.
The growth of precision medicine
Goswami explained that they were using their platform as a way to address the problem of treatment failure that can result from one-size-fits-all treatment approaches.
“We’re tackling this problem for a few reasons: one is that adverse drug events are one of the top 10 leading causes of death in the developed world and also because between 1980 and 2000, one in five prescription drugs were actually relabeled or removed from the market for safety reasons resulting from prescribers not choosing the correct dose. Medical treatments drugs are typically designed for the average patient, and that’s the problem we’re directly addressing. We tailor treatment by leveraging patient characteristics, genetics, and biomarkers to improve patient outcomes and reduce the incidents of adverse drug events,” he was quoted as saying.
Precision medicine is a fairly new innovation and Bakken of HealthX expressed confidence in the mass adoption of precision dosing, which could potentially give InsightRX a massive boost. “We chose to invest because we are confident that InsightRX will work to achieve its goals, and facilitate the mass adoption of precision dosing.”
The Vator website reported that InsightRX’s long term goal is to enable precision dosing on a global scale and to be the technology solution that enables adoption of that technology.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that adverse drug events, a problem that InsightRX wants to solve, cause approximately 1.3 million emergency department visits each year, with about 350,000 patients hospitalized annually for further treatment after emergency visits for adverse drug events. Adverse drug events are more prevalent among older patients, since people tend to take more drugs as they age.