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Tag: Jessica DaMassa

Medable’s CEO: Covid19 Vaccine Will Start Big Pharma’s Era of De-Centralized Clinical Trials

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Covid 19 vaccine development may have mainstreamed questions about how to hasten drug development timelines, but Medable, a health tech startup that offers researchers a way to de-centralize clinical trials, has been working to solve this problem for five years. Freshly funded with a $91M Series C raise, co-founder and CEO Michelle Longmire talks through the benefits of “liberating” clinical trials from academic research centers and sending them onto devices into patient’s homes. Traditionally, drug development processes average more than 10 years, cost millions of dollars, and are limited in the diversity of patients they can recruit because of the heavy focus on the geographic location of the research team conducting the trial. Medable’s digital platform breaks these limitations, reducing drug development timelines and costs by making it easier for researchers to draw study participants from anywhere. More importantly, it makes the novel medicines being tested by the trial available to a bigger, more diverse array of patients. Despite the gains made in 2020 toward the de-centralized clinical trial model (Medable’s revenue shot up 500%), there’s concern that Big Pharma may return to the business processes of old once the pandemic is under control. Does Michelle think last year make enough of an impact to change their business model for good? Find out what’s ahead for the future of pharma.

Hims & Hers CEO on IPO, Push into Primary Care, Target & More

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

On the eve of the finalization of their SPAC IPO and New York Stock Exchange debut as $HIMS, Hims & Hers CEO, Andrew Dudum, sat down with Jess DaMassa to talk about his wellness company’s transition into full-on healthcare provider. With new primary care, mental health care, and covid19 testing services launched as a result of the pandemic, Hims & Hers has expanded beyond their initial dermatology and sexual health core to provide telehealth-plus-pharmacy services for a growing range of chronic conditions, mental health issues, and everyday health concerns commonly tackled by PCPs. How far into healthcare delivery will Hims & Hers go? What types of acquisitions or innovations will be necessary to compete with the likes of Teladoc/Livongo, Optum, or the slew of virtual-first primary care clinics currently vying to be healthcare’s “digital front door”? And, what are we to make of that fact that Hims & Hers has gone retail: appearing on the shelves of every Target store in the US? Healthcare’s changing, and we get a fired-up Andrew to wax philosophical on why companies like his — that are consumer-focused, disrupting the healthcare “experience,” AND slowly eroding the healthcare payment model with a customer base willing to pay out-of-pocket — will be leading the way to a next-generation healthcare model.

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 179 | Inauguration Day Edition

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we’ve made it to Inauguration Day! On Episode 179, we have over $300 million in deals and a SPAC IPO. Jess asks for my take on Hims & Hers going public, primary care chatbot company K Health raising $132 million, digital pathology company Paige raising $100 million, and ACO management company Aledade getting another $100 million. —Matthew Holt

Hinge Health’s CEO on $3B Valuation, Stretch Toward 2022 IPO

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Hinge Health kicked off 2021 with a massive $300M Series D, driving the digital health musculoskeletal care company to a $3B valuation that, normally, would have sent health tech pundits into full-on IPO rumor mode…except that Hinge Health’s co-founder & CEO Daniel Perez beat them to it! We get into the details behind those comments (from what shall now be known as “the chatty Reuters interview”) where he not only revealed the company’s IPO plans, but also talked about how Hinge is well on it’s way to hit $200M in revenue. If 2021 is a year that Dan says will be focused on getting the business “operationally mature” enough to go public, what, exactly will be on the agenda? We dive into the competitive landscape, talk market size (Dan says more than 50% of employees on employer sponsored plans already have access to Hinge Health), and explore whether or not there are designs to expand into comorbidities common to back and joint pain, like mental health, obesity, diabetes, etc. Says Dan, “We’re going to use the capital to really invest in our innovation and R&D team and to stay different. We’re not just going to do the obvious moves.” Tune in for all the details on exactly what that means and why Dan thinks it’s central to Hinge Health’s market leadership in the MSK care space.

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 178 | Talkspace IPO, Accolade buys 2ndMD & more

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess admires my new COVID-safe ski gear, designed to provide the right amount of coverage to the right part of your face at the right time. On Episode 178, Jess asks me about Talkspace finally getting its SPAC IPO together with a $1.4 billion valuation – this was a long time coming. Accolade acquires 2nd.MD for $460 million, Dina Health raises $7 million in a Series A, and Komodo Health raises $44 million and acquires the consulting business from Mavens. —Matthew Holt

Bayer G4A Agents of Change: Watch the Panels, Meet the Co’s that Got Deals

By JESSICA DaMASSA, WTF HEALTH

Bayer G4A, the global life science company’s digital health innovation arm, held their splashy “Agents of Change” event last month to not only introduce their latest cohort of health tech partners, but to also demonstrate the pharma co’s commitment to digital transformation. The entire C-suite of Bayer’s Pharma division became a panel itself — marking the first time the full leadership team of a major pharmaceutical company appeared together to talk strategically about tech’s role in shaping the pharma business model of the future. 

The rest of the program’s agenda teased out G4A’s priorities: consumer health, health disparities, women’s health, and investing. Matthew and I both moderated “star-studded” panels with health tech greats: he tackled health tech investment, ridiculous valuations, and advice for startups with a powerhouse crew of investors, while I led my women’s health panel past the usual talk of period-tracking and into a real push for a paradigm shift in thinking about what actually constitutes women’s health data. Rounding out the program were fascinating discussions about health equity and access led by Indu Sabiaya, and a ‘who’s-interviewing-who-here’ fireside about patient-centered tech with OneDrop’s Jeff Dachis and DiabetesMine founder Amy Tenderich, both entrepreneurs with diabetes who have a lot to say about how most tech misses the mark when it comes to grappling with patient needs in everyday life.

And… if you’re curious about what Bayer G4A actually invested in and who they decided to sign partnership agreements with, check out my exclusive WTF Health interviews featuring these companies by way of the playlist below. 

Spoiler Alert: Not a single digital therapeutic. 

What else could there possibly be for a pharma co to invest in? Watch and see. But, so you know a bit about what you’ll be getting into:

  • Caria is women’s health startup focused on menopause 
  • Sweetch is using just-in-time-interventions linked to mobile data to help “outsmart” chronic diseases
  • ONCARE is a care plan content management platform that lets any healthcare provider upload a care pathway that a patient can then follow via an app on their phone
  • Decipher Biosciences is using genomic testing to disrupt the way prostate cancer is diagnosed and treated 
  • Elly is helping improve the quality of life for cancer patients and those with chronic disease by way of educational and motivational content delivered via voice technology

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 173 | Calm, Story Health, Centivo, Ro & Pear

It’s a wacky world today. Lynne Chou O’Keefe’s Devine Ventures has done 4 deals this week. Calm raises $75m it doesn’t seem to need, Story Health takes on navigation around specialty care, Centivo gets $34m to start a Collective Health rival, Ro moves into the home (literally) bringing diagnostics and Softbank money is back! The lucky recipient of their $80m is DTx company Pear Therapeutics about whom I have almost no opinion… Matthew Holt

#Healthin2Point00, Episode 171 | Massive deals & a massive IPO

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we have a huge IPO coming up – JD Health, a Chinese company which has a valuation of $28 billion, could raise up to $4 billion in its upcoming IPO. On Episode 171, Jess asks me about Everlywell raising $175 million in a Series D for at-home testing, everyone’s favorite keto startup Virta Health raising $65 million bringing its valuation to a billion, Olive Health already putting their funding raise to good use by acquiring Verata Health, and dtx company Click Therapeutics raising $30 million. —Matthew Holt

#Healthin2Point00 Episode 170 | Olive, WithMe, Andor & more

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, Jess & I are together in Marin County before Jess sets off! On Episode 170, Jess asks me about Olive raising $225 million following a recent raise as well, WithMe Health closing a $20 million Series B, Andor Health getting an undisclosed amount in a Series A with an investment from M12, Microsoft’s venture fund, Upfront Healthcare raising $11.5 million in a Series B, and Voluntis – which is a publicly traded DTx company in France – raising $7 million. —Matthew Holt

#Healthin2Point 00, Episode 169 | They’re real and they’re SPACtacular!

Today on Health in 2 Point 00, It’s a whacky SPACy world, as a new SPAC rolls “UpHealth” and has me singing Bob Marley, meanwhile there’s $91m for remote clinical trial software player Medable, $76m more for Spring Health joining the throng of mental health companies, while K-Health gets $42m to introduce chat bot front ends to Korean pop music…or something like that. —Matthew Holt

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