Tuesday, September 1, 2020

PicnicHealth Announces $35M in Funding to Accelerate Medical Research Based on Real World Data

SAN FRANCISCO--(-)--PicnicHealth, the venture-backed startup that gives patients unprecedented access to their medical records and the ability to contribute to scientific research, today announced $35 million in equity financing, including a new $25 million Series B led by Felicis Ventures, and a previously-unannounced $10 million Series A led by Amplify Partners in 2018. Amplify also participated in the Series B.

Managing Director of Felicis Ventures, Sundeep Peechu will join Amplify General Partner Sunil Dhaliwal on the PicnicHealth board. The investment comes on the heels of PicnicHealth’s recently-announced partnership with Roche and Genentech. Several of the world’s largest biopharma companies already rely on PicnicHealth for data that powers their medical research.

“Our mission at Felicis is to invest in companies that reinvent critical markets such as healthcare research,” said Sundeep Peechu. “PicnicHealth embodies this approach, as it is poised to make a massive impact on our ability to treat chronic disease.”

PicnicHealth was founded to help patients with chronic or complex illnesses gain control of their medical records so they can more effectively navigate their healthcare journeys. To date, PicnicHealth has helped tens of thousands of patients by porting their records from any doctor or EMR in the United States into a single, secure online account. In July, PicnicHealth announced the launch of the PicnicHealth Research Platform, which allows patients to give consent to share their de-identified data with researchers. PicnicHealth is able to provide uniquely rich data for research because it works directly with patients and has a scalable data structuring pipeline built on human-in-the-loop machine learning. The result is the first fully patient-consented real world data set that gives a complete view of each patient’s journey over time and across all of their different medical providers.

“PicnicHealth started as a way to give patients more control navigating their own care,” said Noga Leviner, CEO PicnicHealth, who founded PicnicHealth after managing a Crohn’s disease diagnosis. “We quickly realized we were actually solving a much bigger problem by turning each patient’s messy, dispersed data into structured data. The result not only helps patients directly but it also really moves the needle on research.”

Working with patients to enable better data at scale

PicnicHealth works directly with patients to give them the only tool anywhere that truly provides all of their medical records from any doctor or healthcare system in the US—in an easy-to-use, secure online dashboard. Not only that, but patients can choose to contribute their incredibly important data to scientific research, which helps life sciences companies accelerate breakthroughs in care.

PicnicHealth has created a scalable way to transform very messy, often unstructured data into normalized, structured data. For patients, this means they can see and share records easily with their doctors and caregivers. For researchers, they gain access to data they can’t get anywhere else. Because healthcare records are full of unstructured text and don’t yet have interoperable standards, this is a difficult technical challenge. The company has created a solution to collect records at scale, use ML to structure data from those records, and then leverage clinicians to ensure accuracy where algorithms on their own fall short of rigorous regulatory and clinical standards. The resulting data both trains PicnicHealth’s ML models and is truly useful for patients and research alike.

Using aggregated, de-identified data, PicnicHealth gives researchers a uniquely rich view of how diseases are experienced by patients and treated by clinicians in the real world, well beyond the highly controlled setting of clinical trials. This is useful for understanding things like outcomes across underrepresented groups, treatment patterns outside of academic centers where most research happens, and how disease symptoms change for different groups over their lifetimes. For researchers, the lack of access to this data has historically slowed efforts to create better treatments that can ultimately improve patient outcomes.

“PicnicHealth stands alone in the real world evidence market by providing transformative value to patients with chronic conditions and to researchers working on cutting-edge treatments,” said Sunil Dhaliwal, General Partner of Amplify Partners. “We were thrilled to partner with the founders early in their journey, and are equally excited to partner once again in support of their explosive growth.”

Investing in team and platform to support more disease areas

PicnicHealth will use the new funding to move into new disease areas, expanding access to the platform to more patients, while building new research data sets. The company will also focus on building engineering, machine learning, and clinical informatics capacity to scale its regulatory-grade data pipeline.

Upcoming hiring builds on two recent additions to company leadership: Richard Kho, Ph.D., joins as Chief Commercial Officer and Luna Federici joins as Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Kho leads PicnicHealth's commercial organization and its partnerships with life sciences, payers, and academic research organizations. He joins from Komodo Health, where he served as Chief Revenue Officer, and brings 20 years of life sciences experience, including roles at Amgen and Genentech. Federici joins PicnicHealth from SoFi, where she led the company’s $7 billion student loan refinancing business.

About PicnicHealth

PicnicHealth is a healthcare technology company that partners with patients, porting their complete medical records into an easy-to-use online application. The platform gives patients unprecedented access to and control over their medical records and, with their consent, the opportunity to contribute this valuable data to further scientific research. Founded in 2014 by Noga Leviner and Troy Astorino, the company partners with several of the world’s largest biopharma companies and academic research institutions. PicnicHealth has raised more than $35M from Felicis Ventures, Amplify Partners, Foresite Capital, Refactor Capital, and Y Combinator. Learn more at PicnicHealth.com.

About Felicis Ventures

Founded in 2006, Felicis Ventures is a venture capital firm that has backed 28 companies valued at $1B or more. Felicis invests in iconic companies reinventing core markets, as well as those creating frontier technologies. More than 80 Felicis portfolio companies have been acquired or gone public, including Adyen (IPO), Guardant Health (IPO), Fitbit (IPO), Shopify (IPO), Meraki (acquired by Cisco), Twitch (acquired by Amazon), and Ring (acquired by Amazon). Learn more at felicis.com.

About Amplify Partners

Amplify Partners invests in early-stage companies pioneering novel applications in machine intelligence and computer science. The firm's deep domain expertise positions it uniquely with enterprise insight and the ability to serve technical founding teams. Amplify-backed companies include Abstract, Covariant, Datadog, Fastly, and Primer. To learn more about Amplify's portfolio and people, visit amplifypartners.com.

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