Healthcare data startup Komodo Health has inked a partnership with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to enable patient advocacy organizations access software and analytics tools to accelerate research into rare diseases.
Patient-led organizations that are members of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative's Rare as One Network will have access to Komodo Health’s data, analytics tools and "healthcare map."
Komodo Health created a massive artificial intelligence platform that compiles de-identified healthcare data from hundreds of sources and more than 330 million individual patients. The company offers a real-time view into patient healthcare journeys to help life sciences companies and payers detect disparities in care and identify interventions, the company said. The startup works with health plans, patient advocacy groups and several large biopharma companies.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic effort led by the husband-and-wife duo of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, M.D., formerly a practicing pediatrician, launched in 2015 with the aim of solving "Society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities."
The 50 organizations in CZI’s Rare as One Network will now have access to Komodo technology, enabling patient advocacy groups to more clearly identify patient cohorts, identify demographic disparities and connect patients to appropriate healthcare providers and clinical researchers, according to the companies.
The technology and insights will also help accelerate research opportunities for rare diseases that are often overlooked.
"We believe in the power of data and technology to unearth the critical insights needed to address the unmet needs of these patient communities," said Heidi Bjornson-Pennell, CZI Rare As One program manager, in a statement.
One member of CZI’s Rare as One network, PSC Partners Seeking a Cure, utilized Komodo’s software and data to provide education to medical providers about the new PSC ICD-10 code and promote other initiatives in the search for a cure for primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) – a rare liver disease.
Providing rare disease patient advocacy groups with access to Komodo Health's software and data enables them to dig deeper into patient behaviors and patterns of care and will put "breakthroughs into the hands of patients faster," said Web Sun, president and co-founder of Komodo Health, in a statement.
Upcoming IPO and future growth
2021 was a pivotal year for Komodo Health, as the company hit several key milestones and charted strong growth.
The company launched two new products, Prism and Sentinel, to help healthcare and life sciences organizations develop insights and algorithms based on detailed patient behaviors and treatment patterns. It also layered new demographic data into its healthcare map to help advance health equity efforts and inked important partnerships with PicnicHealth, Klick Health and Janssen.
Komodo Health also made strategic moves to expand its capabilities and notched two acquisitions last year--Mavens, a developer of cloud-based software designed for specialty biotech and pharma companies and Breakaway Partners, a market access software company targeting the life sciences industry.
The Mavens' deal also will increase Komodo’s global footprint, as Mavens operates in the U.S., U.K. and India.
And, the startup banked $220 million in a series E funding round led by Tiger Global and Casdin Capital, propelling its valuation to $3.3 billion, the company reported. Founded in 2014, Komodo has raised $314 million to data, Crunchbase reports.
The company used the funding to invest further in its "healthcare map" and software, to build more partnerships that bring more data into its platform and hire additional engineers, Arif Nathoo, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Komodo Health, told Fierce Healthcare on the virtual sidelines of the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference in early January.
"But we did this in an incredibly capital-efficient way. We're actually still sitting on most of the money. It's just giving us the ability to think creatively about where we can make the biggest impact," he said.
In the past two years, there has been a steady stream of health tech companies going public, buoyed by investor interest in technology and digital health.
Komodo Health is looking to ride this wave as well.
"We believe that our mission and thesis is something that the public markets need to hear and they need to have the ability to invest in. We believe very strongly in that. And so over the course of this year, you'll expect to see us take steps to get closer to the public markets," Nathoo said.
He noted the company will likely explore a more traditional approach through an initial public offering (IPO) or direct listing, rather than the "trendy SPAC" deals.
"One of the things that we're really excited about is how enthusiastic investors and the population at large are around healthcare. It's just amazing to hear the way the average person speaks about healthcare data now, just based on what's happened throughout the pandemic. It's a beautiful opportunity for us to really get the specialists that can use data to impact communities at scale," he said.
Komodo Health's growth illustrates the "power of technology and software to solve problems that historically have been solved with consultancies or just on a one-off basis," Nathoo said.
"What you can expect to see from Komodo is continuing to push innovation with more applications and more technology services that allow companies to really jump into this work of improving the burden of disease," he said.