WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Scipher Medicine, developer of a molecular technology platform that can predict if a patient will actually respond to a particular drug therapy announced today that it has completed its Series A round led by Khosla Ventures. With this investment, total funds raised by the company to date are $10 million.
Over 65% of patients prescribed the world's top 5 selling drugs don't respond to therapy. This lack of response to blockbuster drugs coupled with annual price increases are two of the largest contributors to escalating health care costs resulting in billions of dollars in wasted prescriptions and poorer health outcomes for patients.
In complex diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and multiple sclerosis, a majority of patients cycle through several drugs for months or years without experiencing improvements. These patients are exposed to dangerous side effects and in many cases, their disease is irreversibly worsened. Physicians often have no option but to prescribe drugs based on insurance and formulary considerations rather than based on which drug will best target and treat a patient's unique disease biology. Scipher Medicine's platform addresses this challenge by ensuring patients are only prescribed therapies that will be effective for their particular disease, while identifying new drug targets for patients who will not respond to existing therapies in the market.
Scipher Medicine co-founders Dr. Joseph Loscalzo and Dr. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi have spent more than 10 years building and interpreting the map of human biology that explains how proteins expressed from the human genome interact to cause specific disease phenotypes. Scipher Medicine's groundbreaking platform interprets RNA or protein expression data from a patient's blood or tissue sample to reveal the underlying molecular process regulating the disease, generating a patient specific disease signature. Drugs are then screened to determine which therapy actually targets the disease signature in order to accurately predict patient response. The platform addresses both diagnostic and therapeutic opportunities by predicting drug response and identifying opportunities for new drug development.
"The lack of drug response is a massive burden on patients and the healthcare industry," says Samir Kaul, founding General Partner at Khosla Ventures. "We're proud to partner with Scipher Medicine to take this challenge head-on and change the status quo for how we prescribe drugs and treat patients."
Added Scipher Medicine CEO Alif Saleh: "With the completion of this financing round, we are accelerating product development and plan to announce our first product before the end of the year. Our partnership with Khosla Ventures will be instrumental in ensuring that our technology and platform is commercialized to the benefit of patients, providers and payers."
Covington Associates LLC acted as financial advisor to Scipher Medicine in its Series A financing.
About Scipher Medicine
Scipher Medicine is determined to ensure that patients are given access to drugs that work effectively — from day one. Its molecular technology platform predicts accurately whether a patient will respond to a particular therapy. For patients who don't respond to existing drugs, the platform identifies new targets that can be used to develop more effective therapies. The company's cofounders include Dr. Joseph Loscalzo, Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chairman of the Department of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dr. Albert-Laszlo Barabasi, Robert Gray Dodge Professor of Network Science and a Distinguished University Professor at Northeastern University. Scipher Medicine is a privately held company headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. To learn more, visit www.sciphermedicine.com.
About Khosla Ventures
Khosla Ventures is a venture capital firm that provides venture assistance and strategic advice to entrepreneurs working on breakthrough technologies. The firm was founded in 2004 by Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and focuses on transformative technology in consumer, enterprise, education, financial services, health, big data, agriculture/food, sustainable energy and robotics. Khosla Ventures is headquartered in Menlo Park, California. For more information about the firm's activities, please visit www.khoslaventures.com.
SOURCE Scipher Medicine