Startups

MyHealthTeams raises $7.3M to give fuller picture of patient experience to pharma sector

Qiming U.S. Healthcare Fund, part of China-based Qiming Venture Partners, led the Series C round. Other investors in the business include Adams Street Partners, CVS Health, The Westly Group, HealthTech Capital and 500 Startups.

MyHealthTeam patient communities

MyHealthTeam patient communities

MyHealthTeams, a network of 24 patient communities that connects patients with each other and works with biotech and pharma companies to provide insights on clinical trial design and patient education for their products, has closed a $7.3 million Series C round. The new funding will be used to continue to diversify its patient communities beyond its 1 million registered users across eight countries.

Like other networks of patient communities, its drug industry partners, including 12 biotech and pharma companies, seek to better understand how patients define improvements in their quality of life, what their drugs need to do to give that to them, and how patients experience their condition.

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MyHealthTeams CEO and cofounder Eric Peacock told MedCity News in a phone interview that Qiming U.S. Healthcare Fund, part of China-based Qiming Venture Partners, led the round, joining a syndicate of investors that includes Adams Street Partners, CVS Health, The Westly Group, HealthTech Capital and 500 Startups. To date, MyHealthTeams has raised $17.4 million.

One example of the ways in which the company has grown is the addition of rare diseases through its Hemophilia group. It also offers a useful example of how the company engages patients and its registered users can provide useful insight for drug, Peacock said.

Findings from MyHealthTeams hemophilia research collaboration with Biogen.

Findings from MyHealthTeams hemophilia research collaboration with Biogen.

In a research collaboration with Biogen on hemophilia done prior to Biogen’s hemophilia and rare blood disorder spinoff, Bioverativ, wanted to understand what problems hemophiliacs encounter and what kind of outcomes matter to them, Peacock noted.

“The are two huge looming issues that can be crushing for people with hemophilia,” Peacock said. “The pain from the bleeds going into joints makes it difficult to sleep, causing something called ‘painsomnia’. Also, the chronic pain from this condition can lead to depression.”

Getting an understanding of patients’ experience of this condition and how it impacts day-to-day life for this patient population can have an enormous impact on the kinds of drugs companies produce and services they can offer them.

Peacock said that pharma companies also use MyHealthTeams’ platform for clinical trial recruitment. He emphasized that registered users only get information relevant to their condition, the drug(s) they take, and their interests.

“Because we only do target relevant messaging and we don’t spam members, they are more likely to open emails from us .”

Mark McDade, Qiming U.S. managing partner, is also the former COO of pharmaceutical company UCB, noted that the pharma industry is increasingly focused on patient-reported outcomes, making it important to understand “real-world evidence” of therapies. In a phone interview, he said his fund liked the high rate of monthly activity, not just for patients but also for caregivers.

The investment from Qiming U.S.Healthcare Fund is notable because it reflects the global nature of clinical trials, points to potential opportunities for MyHealthTeams in China and the interest in patient reported outcomes in this market.

In 2015, MyHealth Teams closed a $5 million Series B round to add 10 more health communities last year including its first rare disease group MyHemophiliaTeam, which has about 1,500 registered users.