The St. Cambridge, MA-based company today announced a $5m Series A funding round led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from new investors, including Borealis Ventures and Flatiron Health co-founders Zach Weinberg and Nat Turner. Existing investors StagedotO and David Shaw also participated.
“What has brought this group together is excitement and interest in clinical diagnostic labs, particularly molecular and genomic testing labs, and their role in the clinical workflow and their potential as a keystone in precision medicine,” Ovation.io CEO Barry Wark told us.
The funds will be used to accelerate the company’s ability to deploy its commercial platform to more labs and expand features that enable those labs to grow their business efficiently and “maximize their business value from their data,” Wark said. This will involve new hires and continued technology development.
Co-founded by Wark in 2017, the company’s cloud-based commercial platform Ovation Diagnostic is built for molecular diagnostics and supports sample tracking, client relations, electronic health record (EHR) integrations, revenue cycle management, reporting, operational intelligence, and results analytics.
Becoming value-added players in precision medicine
A valuable resource of real-world evidence (RWE) – particularly for clinical trial recruitment and sales operations – Wark said specialized diagnostic labs are traditionally a hard resource to tap.
“They are the cutting-edge innovators of the diagnostics world,” he added, and many are acting as preclinical contract research organizations (CROs). However, often relatively small- and medium-sized businesses, interactions with them on a technology basis are often difficult.
Ovation.io aims to improve this by providing “a standardized, easy to address” technology platform.
“It is a relatively new approach to a really hard problem of how do you get the right data to the right people in the clinical workflow,” Wark said. “Our approach really focuses on how do we make data most useful from the perspective of labs, patients, providers, and ultimately, industry.”
Wark explained that the cloud-based software offers labs with the operational analytics needed to grow their business and be more efficient providers to patients. It also provides results analytics “that help them become value-added players in precision medicine … Whether that is helping a molecular infectious disease lab become a leader in helping with their community’s antibiotics stewardship programs, or a cancer diagnostics lab that is helping their patients find clinical trials,” he added.
For pharmaceutical companies interested in tapping this “otherwise very hard to access data” the platform presents a “powerful opportunity,” Wark said – and the potential enterprise value for Ovation.io is significant.
“We think that the ability to change the way we deliver and ultimately pay for precision medicine in this country is an incredibly powerful mission – and that is what we’re focused on,” he added, explaining that the company will “follow the financial road necessary to achieve that mission.”