Rare Daily Staff
RDMD said it has completed a $3 million seed financing to advance its rare disease patient-data platform to accelerate drug development.
Lux Capital led the round with participation from Village Global, First Round’s Healthcare Co-Op, Garuda, Shasta Ventures and various angel investors.
RDMD has developed a technology platform that generates data insights to accelerate rare disease research and drug development, as well as a patient application that empowers patients and families to get access to and benefit from their own medical data.
“Unlike the more well-resourced conditions like cancer and diabetes, rare diseases suffer from a lack of data infrastructure. As a result, many programs fail to even get off the ground,” said Adam Goulburn, general partner of Lux Capital. “RDMD represents a central place dedicated specifically to the problems in rare disease, where we aim to create fertile ground for therapeutic programs.”
Onno Faber co-founded the company after he was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 2, a rare condition that causes the development of noncancerous tumors on the auditory nerve and other parts of the central nervous system. The condition can cause hearing loss, vision problems, build-up of fluid in the brain, and other complications. Only one in 30,000 people have the condition.
“I’ve been developing technology products my entire life and I wondered if we could marry a powerful data and analytics platform with patient data to gain insights into rare diseases. That idea turned into reality with the founding of RDMD,” said Faber. “We have since pioneered the development of a powerful platform that leverages deep data insights to empower rare disease research and drug development, as well as an application that allows patients to take the management of their disease into their own hands.”
RDMD plans to partner with rare disease biopharmaceutical companies to provide deep clinical electronic health record data from patients, rare disease doctors, and foundations. The company’s proprietary database of research-and-regulatory-grade evidence can be leveraged to gain insights on natural history, endpoint selection, and evidence generation for regulatory submissions.
RDMD’s technology platform transforms unstructured data from medical records into disease-specific data models that can be readily analyzed. Most data from medical records are currently unusable for research because they are trapped in physician notes and progress reports that cannot be easily mined. RDMD works with research doctors in each condition to define the relevant data measures and biomarkers to collect to generate the most relevant insights for clinical development. RDMD’s technology enables audit-trails and links to original source documents to ensure compliance and quality control.
Faber said the financing will allow RDMD to expand its efforts and tailor its approach for the needs of any rare condition, providing real value for both patients and drug developers. In addition to further developing the company’s platform, the financing will be used to expand the leadership team to support demand and growth, generate data, expand into new rare conditions, and work with partners to advance their research and development programs.
The company is currently collaborating with researchers at the National Cancer Institute to track pain symptoms in people with a type of neurofibromatosis called NF1. It has also partnered with the Children’s Tumor Foundation to generate real world evidence from NF patient medical records across all forms of neurofibromatosis, including NF1, NF2 and schwannomatosis. RDMD plans to expand into rare neurological and inherited metabolic diseases.
RDMD has also created an application that offers patients the ability to view and control their complete medical records. With patient authorization, RDMD will retrieve medical records on a patient’s behalf, and keep this information updated over time. RDMD displays patients’ records in a disease-specific timeline with summaries of their medical data. Patients fully own their data, control whether to contribute their de-identified data to research and can delete their account at any time.
“To date, we have enrolled more than 150 patients with neurofibromatosis to use our application. Patients have already been able to connect with or get second opinions from top doctors from across the country, coordinate ongoing care and contribute their de-identified data to research their condition,” said Nancy Yu, co-founder and CEO of RDMD. “It normally takes millions of dollars over several years to gather this type of data in rare diseases. For the first time, we have a centralized and consented set of data for use in translational research, for a fraction of the time and cost.”
August 20, 2018
Onno Faber, co-founder, chairman, and head of product for RDMD