With $3m in funding, tech firm looks to drive drug development using EHR data

By Melissa Fassbender contact

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/tuk69tuk)
(Image: Getty/tuk69tuk)

Related tags: Technology, EHR, Clinical research, Rare disease

RDMD has secured $3m in seed funding to further develop its technology platform, which bridges the gap between patients and pharma, says CEO.

Founded in 2017, RDMD is a health care technology company focused on advancing research in rare diseases​. The company yesterday announced that it has raised $3m in seed financing.

The financing was led by Lux Capital, with participation from Village Global, First Round's Healthcare Co-Op, Garuda, Shasta Ventures, and various angel investors. The funds will be used to develop the company’s platform and expand its leadership team, Nancy Yu, RDMD co-founder and CEO told us.

According to the San Francisco, CA-based company, the technology platform converts unstructured data from electronic health records​ (EHRs) into disease-specific data models for analysis.

The gap between patients and pharma

Yu said its data collection approach unique – and that “there is not another company like RDMD out there – the closest would be CROs.”

"We've seen the most demand from rare disease biotechnology companies in clinical stage of development. There aren't many companies that can, end-to-end, engage patients directly, retrieve EHR records, and deeply structure the data in a regulatory-compliant way for their R&D needs,"​ she added.

“It normally takes millions of dollars over several years to gather this type of data in rare diseases,"​ Yu said. "We combine a research- and regulatory-grade data platform with a modern patient-facing product, to bridge the gap between patients and pharma.”

RDMD's aim is to partner with rare disease biopharmaceutical companies to provide them with EHR data from patients, rare disease doctors, and foundations.

“These partners can leverage our proprietary database of research-and-regulatory-grade evidence to gain insights on natural history, endpoint selection, and evidence generation for regulatory submissions,” ​added Yu.

The company is in active discussions with potential rare disease partners and working to expand into other rare diseases, she explained.

RDMD also is currently collaborating with researchers at the National Cancer Institute​ to track pain symptoms in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Additionally, it has a partnership with the Children’s Tumor Foundation to generate real world evidence (RWE) from medical records across all forms of neurofibromatosis.

‘Too compelling to ignore’

When Yu was in college less than 10 years ago, she noted that health records weren’t digitized, genome sequences cost more than $100,000, and “the rare disease biotech business model wasn’t fully proven.”

Now, there is “an explosion in rare disease drug programs, growing at twice the speed of non-rare drug development,”​ explained Yu. This, and a genetic sequence costs about $1,000.

She also noted that US Food and Drug Ammonization (FDA) is increasingly “warming up to the use of real-world data in drug development,” ​and patient-centered drug development “is a concept every single biopharma company is acutely focused on​.”

“I personally feel like we’re at the center of so many industry inflection points that are too compelling to ignore,” ​said Yu.

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