What You Should Know:
– Boston-based digital therapeutics startup Biofourmis acquires LA-based Gaido Health from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, in a strategic deal that expands Biofourmis’ portfolio in the oncology space.
– Gaido Health—a digital therapeutics company focused on the oncology market—was part of Takeda Digital Ventures, Takeda’s corporate technology investment and incubation arm.
– With Gaido Health’s and Biofourmis’ dual focus on remote monitoring with wearables and AI-based technology, the acquisition is especially timely since the companies’ combined therapy can keep patients with cancer healthier in their homes following discharge from the hospital—especially in light of oncology patients being immunocompromised from their treatments and therefore more susceptible to viruses, including COVID-19.
Biofourmis, a global leader in digital therapeutics that powers personalized predictive care, announced today it has finalized an agreement to acquire Gaido Health from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, a strategic deal that expands Biofourmis’ portfolio in the oncology space. Gaido Health—a Los Angeles-area based digital therapeutics company focused on the oncology market—was part of Takeda Digital Ventures, Takeda’s corporate technology investment and incubation arm.
Impact of Acquisition
The acquisition seeks to address a disconnected oncology care pathway that has led to more than 30% of patients on chemotherapy being readmitted to the hospital or requiring a visit to the emergency department. In the United States alone, 1.6 million patients are diagnosed with cancer each year, and the total cost of care is expected to rise to $170 billion in 2020.
“Biofourmis’ digital therapeutics solution for oncology—now bolstered with this acquisition of Gaido Health—is based on an innovative approach that continuously monitors patients’ physiology biomarkers and symptoms, detects early signs of complications, and arms care teams with tools to intervene early to prevent medical crises, improve outcomes and lower costs,” said Kuldeep Singh Rajput, CEO of Biofourmis. “The platform also empowers patients with cancer to self-manage symptoms using Biofourmis’ artificial intelligence [AI]-based Biovitals® treatment algorithms, which improves engagement and quality of life.”
Gaido Health’s solution, which will be supported by Biofourmis’ existing Biovitals® platform, combines information on vital signs collected via remote monitoring in the home, patient surveys and analytics to detect early signs of complications in patients with cancer who have been recently discharged from the hospital. Gaido Health’s AI-based algorithms detect signs of complications to inform the clinician, enabling earlier interventions.
Oncology patients are typically immunocompromised due to their illness and treatments and therefore more susceptible to health issues such as infection—so visiting healthcare facilities could increase their health risks, including potential exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The algorithms offer insights to help clinicians safely monitor recently discharged oncology patients in their homes to avoid those risks, while also decreasing costs and increasing patient satisfaction.
“The first question we always ask ourselves at Takeda is, ‘How can we do more for patients?’—and Gaido Health does the same,” said Bruce Meadows, Head of Investments at Takeda Digital Ventures. “, and we are very proud of what Gaido has achieved. Biofourmis will continue this vital work.”
Rajput said that Gaido Health’s focus on oncology was a perfect complement to Biofourmis’ existing digital therapeutics portfolio, which includes therapeutic areas such as heart failure, chronic pain and other cardiometabolic diseases.
“In addition to this strategic acquisition creating synergies for better remote monitoring of patients discharged from the hospital after cancer treatment, it will also mean better tools to manage patients who have a related diagnosis of cancer therapy-induced cardiotoxicity leading to heart failure, which is a dreaded complication,” Rajput said.
Integration Plans for Gaido Health
The Gaido Health solution also will be combined with Biofourmis’ Biovitals® platform to manage toxicities in patients undergoing CAR T-Cell Therapy, a form of immunotherapy that uses specially altered T cells—a part of the immune system—to fight cancer. The total cost of CAR T-Cell therapy has been estimated to be more than double the cost of the drug when factoring in post-therapy hospitalization and the treatment of toxic side effects. Using the Gaido Health platform, patients can be monitored at home to detect early signs of any clinical complications following therapy, which will enable care teams to receive real-time actionable alerts for earlier interventions that can prevent medical crises.
“By closely monitoring these groups of patients in their homes following discharge, providers can improve outcomes, decrease readmission rates, and lower the cost of care,” Rajput explained.
Gaido Health’s CEO Gary Manning will be joining Biofourmis as senior vice president of corporate development. He said that the two companies’ complementary digital therapeutics solutions created an exciting opportunity to join forces. Prior to the acquisition, Gaido Health was already using Biofourmis’ Everion® wearable biosensor for home monitoring.
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.