This morning Verana Health, a startup focused on curating and analyzing real-world clinical data, announced a $100 million funding round led by GV with participation from Bain Capital Ventures, Casdin Capital and Define Ventures.
The funding news coincides with the announcement that Verana purchased PYA Analytics’ technology assets and team. PYA Analytics specializes in large-scale data architecture solutions.
WHAT THEY DO
Formerly called DigiSight, the company got its start in teleophthalmology. In 2018 the startup landed $30 million in a funding round also led by GV.
Today the company is still focused on the ophthalmology space — and has added a focus on neurology as well — but more in terms of analyzing data. It has teamed up with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Academy of Neurology, partnerships that enabled it to aggregate regulatory-grade data sets. Its tech analyzes EHR-derived data to support disease research.
PYAA, meanwhile, brings to the table its data science business. Historically it has experience linking clinical records with images.
WHAT IT’S FOR
While Verana is currently focused on the ophthalmic and neurological disease space, it plans to expand its analytics to integrate imaging, genomics and claims data sources.
"Verana is assembling the most comprehensive datasets in medicine across multiple disease types with the goal of accelerating medical research for patients with ophthalmic and neurologic conditions,” Miki Kapoor, CEO of the Verana Health, said in a statement. "The financing and the addition of PYAA enable us to enrich these large clinical databases, creating a longitudinal view of the complete patient journey to inform research and patient care.”
Researchers and hospital systems are increasingly turning to real-world data. One of the best-known examples of this in the space is Flatiron Health, which created an oncology-specific EHR platform as well as a suite of software products that employ real-world data from the EHR records to uncover cancer research and care insights. Pharma giant Roche bought the company for $1.9 billion in 2018.
Another company in the space is OM1, a cloud platform that employs AI machine learning to organize and analyze large datasets for real-world measures of clinical outcomes.
ON THE RECORD
“Verana Health is building the team and technology to unlock deep clinical insights that support the development of new treatments while increasing our understanding of how these treatments can benefit patients more broadly,” Dr. Krishna Yeshwant, general partner at GV, said in a statement. “Under the leadership of its strong management team, Verana continues to redefine how we approach medical research.”