Eyeing commercialization, WellDoc taps biotech vet for president post

By Brian Dolan

WellDoc BlueStarBaltimore, Maryland-based WellDoc, one of the earliest and best known mobile health companies focused on diabetes management, has appointed Kevin McRaith as the company's new president. McRaith most recently served as VP of Sales & Marketing at Human Genome Sciences, and previously worked at Genentech, Abbott and Baxter. In this role McRaith will report to WellDoc CEO Ryan Sysko. WellDoc's current president Dr. Anand Iyer will become the company's first Chief Data Science Officer, where he will focus on improving the company's analytics engine and predictive modeling capabilities.

WellDoc's flagship offering is BlueStar, an FDA-cleared mobile application and program for people with Type II diabetes that is prescribed by physicians and adjudicated through pharmacies just like pharmaceutical therapies. The program is supported by WellDoc's Automated Expert Analytics System, which includes real-time motivational messages, behavioral coaching and educational content, delivered right to the patient's mobile device. The program also provides patient's physician with clinical decision support tools based on how they're doing.

"WellDoc's primary focus, as Kevin joins us, will be the commercialization of BlueStar following a successful and pioneering research and development period, which WellDoc devoted to clinical, regulatory, and business model innovation for mobile prescription therapies," Sysko said in a statement.

According to WellDoc, McRaith has two decades of experience commercializing therapies for oncology, immunology, HIV, oncology, CNS and cardiology. Notably, one of WellDoc's advisory board members is H. Thomas Watkins, the former CEO of McRaith's most recent employer, Human Genome Sciences.

In January the company landed a $20 million round of investment that includes contributions from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Windham Venture Partners. The announcement marked WellDoc's first round of institutional money -- the company long relied on angel investors and debt -- and now reports total funding at north of $50 million. At the time the company told MobiHealthNews it would welcome additional strategic or institutional investors that might complement Merck GHI's investment.

WellDoc said it planned to use the funds to continue the commercialization of BlueStar, which is already in the market today and available by prescription for employees at a handful of self-insured companies (like Ford and Rite Aid), but also through a growing number of as yet undisclosed payors around the country. The recent investment will enable WellDoc to build out its sales team to pursue the traditional sales channels that pharmaceutical and medical device companies have leveraged for prescribable products. The company also plans to "think outside the box" and support that traditional model with consumer marketing, too.