Altoida Inc., a digital health company using digital biomarkers to drive better clinical outcomes for brain diseases has raised $6.3M in Series A funding led by M Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of the science and technology company Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. The round also includes participation from Grey Sky Venture Partners, VI Partners AG, Alpana Ventures, and FYRFLY Venture Partners.
Taking Aim at the Alzheimer’s Disease Epidemic
The number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease is rapidly growing. In 2019 alone, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias will cost the nation $290 billion. By 2050, these costs could rise as high as $1.1 trillion. Yet, research shows 1 in 3 dementia cases are preventable if diagnosed before permanent and irreversible brain damage occurs.
Digital Biomarkers Platform
Founded in 2016 by a team of neuroscientists, physicians, and computer scientists, Altoida offers an FDA and CE Mark-cleared medical device and brain health data platform to support early detection of Alzheimer’s disease up to ten years prior to onset – with up to 94% accuracy. Unlike other detection solutions that collect passive data or only focus on a single behavior, Altoida collects a wide range of ‘active’ digital biomarkers as the patient is moving and completing tasks. They’ve amassed a vast dataset that not only helps them diagnose Alzheimer’s with unprecedented accuracy, but is tremendously valuable for ongoing research.
Altoida’s digital biomarkers harness advances in technology to detect brain changes early in the disease process, helping to accelerate early diagnosis for better clinical outcomes. Using an iPad or a Tablet accelerometer, gyroscope and touch screen sensors, Altoida is able to detect “micro-errors” as both a prognostic and diagnostic digital biomarker. The result is that medical professionals are able to detect Alzheimer’s disease in patients 62+ years old between six and ten years prior to the onset of symptoms – and before irreversible damage occurs.
Collected over the last 12 years, Altoida also offers its comprehensive digital biomarker dataset to researchers and major pharmaceutical companies who want to leverage pre-symptomatic data to enhance both treatment and drug R&D. Today, the company is working on two joint research collaborations with large pharmaceutical companies in both the United States and Japan. The new capital will be used to further expand Altoida’s global presence with an immediate focus on commercialization activities in the US and EU markets.
“While we know that early detection of Alzheimer’s is the key and leads to better outcomes, only 16% of seniors today receive regular assessments in the US, and this situation becomes more critical as we look at other geographic regions,” said Dr. Richard Fischer, Founder & CEO at Altoida. “Today’s diagnosis methods are either outdated, costly and invasive or highly nuanced. We are taking aim at this acute problem with a fast, fun, accurate and scalable AI-driven solution that collects digital biomarkers to predict the onset of Alzheimer’s as early as ten years before symptoms appear – we like to call them “micro errors”. Our software or app is designed to be used by a wide range of healthcare professionals, from primary care physicians (GP’s) to neurologists to insurance companies, in order to make early detection accessible to more people around the world with the goal of significantly delaying the onset of MCI due to AD – and resulting in an overall cost reduction.”