This morning London-based data platform Raremark announced that it landed $3.9 million (£3 million) in a funding round led by AlbionVC and Ananda Ventures, with participation from Oltre Ventures and Cass Entrepreneurship Fund. The platform, which focuses on rare diseases, plans on using the new money to build a patient engagement and data analysis tool.
The company engages with both patients and biopharmaceuticals. On the life sciences side, it lets researchers see the anonymized and aggregated patient data. It also engages with patients by giving them “easy-to understand” information.
Why it matters
According to the National Institutes of Health, there may be as many as 7,000 rare diseases, which impacts between 25 to 30 million Americans. Due to the limited sample size, it can be difficult for life science companies to study in large numbers.
Raremark claims its technology can help speed up new developments and treatments for people living with rare diseases.
“The low prevalence of rare diseases throws up some unique challenges," Dr. Christoph Ruedig, partner at AlbionVC, said in a statement. "The paucity of clinical experience and data leads to poor trial design, making it more difficult to demonstrate an acceptable efficacy and safety profile for a drug, delaying or even preventing it from reaching the market.”
Raremark isn’t the only digital tool focused on rare diseases. In August, Bay Area-startup RDMD landed $3 million in seed funding for its platform that leverages personal health records to accelerate clinical research of rare diseases. The platform extracts and analyzes data from EHRs to conduct rapid retrospective studies and generate new real-world data.
On the record
“Raremark has built a technology platform using content algorithms to boost engagement and advanced data analytics to understand the mechanisms, symptoms and heterogeneity of rare diseases," Lennart Hergel, partner at Ananda Ventures, said in a statement. "The resulting high-quality insights will enable companies to develop more effective treatments that are tailored to patients’ profiles.”