Startups, Artificial Intelligence

Biofourmis raises $35M to support AI-based digital therapeutics for chronic disease

The company is moving its headquarters from Singapore to Boston alongside the capital raise.

Singaporean startup Biofourmis has raised a $35 million Series B financing round led by to support the growth and commercialization of its digital therapeutics platform and support hiring as the startup moves to its new Boston headquarters.

Sequoia India and MassMutual Ventures co-led the funding round, alongside EDBI, the investment arm of Singapore’s Economic Development Board, and Chinese online pharmacy Jianke. The company has a total of $40 million from investors including Openspace Ventures, Aviva Ventures and SGInnovate.

By the end of 2019, the company plans to have a workforce of more than 100 employees split across Boston and Singapore.

“Sequoia India is excited to lead this round investing in Biofourmis, an innovative health tech start-up with the potential to intuitively deliver improved patient outcomes,” Anjana Sasidharan, a principal at Sequoia Capital India Advisors, said in a statement.

“They have already aligned with credible, high-quality institutional partners to successfully transition digital therapeutics from concept to reality—and we are impressed with the team’s vision and ability to use technology to scale their products globally.”

Initially founded in 2015 by CEO Kuldeep Singh Rajput and Chief Privacy Officer Wendou Niu, Biofourmis is working on technology that uses machine learning algorithms, wearable medical biosensors and electronic patient records to build biomarkers that can predict potential health issues before they arise.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

The company’s lead product known as BioVitals HF is a digital therapeutic offered post-discharge to patients suffering from cardiac disease. Using a combination of medical sensors and the company’s AI algorithms, BioVitals monitors a patient’s health, highlights potential problems and offers treatment options through its companion app.

By giving patients more real-time insight into their health status the hope is create better adherence to treatment regimens and improve efficacy of existing therapeutics. The company initially is looking to partner with pharma companies to pair specific medications with Biofourmis’ digital solutions.

Important to note is that the company does not yet have FDA approval for its products, but expects for a clearance decision in the coming months.

Going forward, Biofourmis said it will continue to develop its algorithms through the biopharmaceutical clinical trial and regulatory process.

“Our products would then have treatment claims akin to a drug, and they would need to be prescribed by a clinician,” Rajput said. “Insurance providers could then reimburse for the treatment just as they do with pharmaceuticals and therapeutic medical devices.”

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