Cancer-focused Elekta snaps up digital oncology startup Kaiku Health

As part of the acquisition Kaiku Health's symptom-tracking tool will be integrated into Elekta's oncology informatics platform.
By Laura Lovett
11:33 am
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Lauri Sippola, CEO of Kaiku, gives a demonstration in his Helsinki office. 

Swedish oncology-focused Elekta has announced its purchase of Kaiku Health, a Helsinki-based startup focused on patient monitoring and patient-reported outcome services.

As part of this deal Kaiku Health’s app, which allows patients to track symptoms over time and can alert doctors or researchers with updates, will be integrated into Elekta’s Mosaiq Oncology Information System.

“Including intelligent patient-monitoring software in the Elekta portfolio supports the company’s oncology informatics strategy,” Richard Hausmann, Elekta president and CEO, said in a statement. “This is a concrete step towards expanding our digital portfolio to further digitally connect our two most important stakeholders: our customers and their patients. Kaiku Health’s solution has demonstrated it can improve quality of life and reduce costs of healthcare.”

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Kaiku got its start in 2012, when the founders were still in university. It began piloting its tech at a comprehensive cancer center in Helsinki called Docrates Syöpäsairaala. By 2019 the company had expanded across five European countries and 60 clinics. 

“Here was a small company from Finland [that is] able to have the potential to reach and support the quality of life for patients,” Lauri Sippola, CEO of Kaiku, told MobiHealthNews last year during a trip to its Helsinki office. “This is what we are here trying to do, and [we] have had some good progress along the years and [are] hoping to go even further and reach more patients.”

Over the years, Kaiku has a history of teaming up with pharma companies. In March of 2019, it inked a deal with Amgen to roll out digital symptom-tracking for multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer. 

The company was funded, scoring $5.4 million in a Series A found led by Debiopharm Innovation Fund SA and Tesi

WHY IT MATTERS 

Both companies focus on some degree of personalized medicine for the oncology space. The companies are pitching their coming together as a way to bring different facets of that space into one space. 

“Together we will continue to develop personalized digital interventions in order to help improve the lives of cancer patients globally,” Sippola said in a statement. “Measuring what matters to patients is paramount in value-based healthcare and it will benefit patients, healthcare providers and society.”

THE LARGER TREND 

We are beginning to see a rise in oncology-focused digital tools. In fact, last month we saw another M&A in the oncology space. Remote-monitoring and decision-support startup Biofourmis announced its plans to acquire Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ Gaido Health, an oncology-focused digital tool, for an undisclosed sum. The new cash deal is expected to help Biofourmis further its foothold on the oncology space. 

Within the last year we’ve seen a number of funding rounds support cancer-focused startups. Most recently, Paige, a computational pathology platform, scored an additional $5 million from Goldman Sachs, which boosted their Series B funding to $50 million. 

In January, Atlanta-based oncology-management platform OncoLens landed $2.5 million in a Pre-Series A round led by Atlanta Technology Angels and the Robbins Fund. 

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