March 19, 2020

Article from the Annual Report: Digital Healthcare

The abundance of technologies and digital solutions that are flowing into the life sciences ecosystem is changing how medicine is discovered and how healthcare is being delivered and used.

One example is big data, which in recent years has changed the way any industry manages, analyses and leverages data. In healthcare, however, the potential is even more promising. Large scale data from the enormous industry can be collected and refined into actionable insights in pharmaceuticals, clinical data, and patient behaviour.

Also, tools are emerging to help address patient centric challenges, such as care coordination and long waiting time to see a doctor. Combined with data-driven findings, this can help predict individual healthcare problems, assess and treat health issues faster, and empower patients with tools to involve them more in their own health. As legislators and companies seek to reduce health costs, digital tools also represent an increasingly attractive option to drive efficiencies.

The continued movement toward and adoption of technology in healthcare, which also includes artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic technologies amongst others, will lead to new breakthroughs and new treatments. This includes personalised medicine which breaks with a traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach to the treatment of patients. Instead, new approaches based on patients’ genetic material and lifestyle will target therapies to achieve the best outcomes in the individual management of disease or predisposition to disease.

As the demand for digital health solutions grows, we expect to see a continued steady flow of funds from both venture capital and public markets into the space. This will improve and accelerate product development, create better tools for clinical trials and a new wave of devices, technologies and processes will emerge.

Operating in this digital space, however, still requires a fundamental understanding of healthcare trends as well as the inefficiencies and possibilities in the healthcare system that technology can help resolve or utilise.

Several of Novo Holdings’ investment teams have made investments in this area, and we will expand our presence in the coming years.

The digital health revolution is an all-embracing mega-trend, and it is all but impossible for any investor to stay ahead of the curve. However, we approach the market with confidence, as we believe that Novo Holdings, based on deep domain expertise, ability to embrace exciting visions, and to be patient and long-term in its investments approach, is well-positioned to partner with the many digital health companies that are emerging and maturing.

Case 1
ERT is a global data and technology company, based in Pennsylvania, that captures critical endpoint data while minimizing uncertainty and risk in clinical trials. Thus, ERT helps its customers move ahead quickly with the development of new treatments.

More specifically, ERT which was founded in 1972, delivers innovative imaging, cardiac safety, respiratory, and eClinical solutions that help biopharmaceutical companies meet global regulators’ strict guidelines for demonstrating the safety and efficacy of new medical compounds.

In 2019, 75% (36) of the compounds approved by the FDA were developed using one or more of ERT’s eClinical solutions during the drug development process.

Year of investment: 2016
Investment team: Principal Investments

Case 2
Founded in 2008, MDLIVE is one of largest telehealth platforms in the U.S. The company offers a technology-enabled service that connects consumers to certified medical professionals via telephone or video on-demand.

The services are designed to replace emergency room or urgent care visits for non-emergency issues. In addition to providing urgent care for over 50 routine medical conditions, MDLIVE also offers behavioural health therapy.

Healthcare providers can use MDLIVE’s platform to collect and share clinical data from patient medical records, lab results and in-home biometric devices for real-time risk assessments, wellness advice, diagnoses and treatment.

Year of investment: 2018
Investment team: Novo Ventures

Case 3
Tempus, based in Chicago, is a leading technology company advancing precision medicine through the collection and analysis of molecular and clinical data.

With the largest connected clinical and genomic database aggregated from academic medical centres and community- based hospitals, the Tempus platform serves the entire healthcare ecosystem of providers, payers, researchers and life sciences companies. Using advanced machine learning, next-generation sequencing, and AI-assisted image recognition, the company’s platform accelerates discovery of new insights and enables physicians to make real-time, data driven decisions based upon those insights on behalf of their patients.

The Tempus platform touches more than 1 in 4 cancer patients in the U.S. and the company is further enhancing operations and accelerating its expansion into new therapeutic areas and geographies.

Year of investment: 2019
Investment team: Novo Growth