COTA raises $34M in growth funding round, inks data deal with Varian

Boston-based health IT company COTA Inc. nabbed $34 million in growth financing to further build its cancer care data analytics services. 

The series D financing round was led by Baptist Health South Florida and ONC Capital with participation from EW Healthcare, Horizon BCBS, Boston Millennia Partners and other existing investors. 

“The additional capital combined with our increased data access positions COTA for tremendous growth and enables us to drive innovation in oncology using real-world data," said Michael Doyle, president and CEO of COTA, in a statement. "Our high-quality data and technology solutions will improve how cancer is treated and provide much needed clarity to patients as they navigate their cancer journey."

The company, launched in 2011, has raised more than $90 million. Other notable backers include Celgene, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Novartis and IQVIA.

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As part of the deal, Baptist Health South Florida secured a seat on COTA’s board of directors that will be filled by Leonard Kalman, M.D., chief medical officer of Miami Cancer Institute of Baptist Health South Florida. COTA is a licensee of both data and intellectual property developed at Baptist Health South Florida’s Miami Cancer Institute.

“COTA has become a national leader in cancer patient data analytics,” Kalman said in a statement. “Their powerful analytics tools enable providers to rapidly answer clinical questions in order to make better decisions about clinical trial participation, and in the realm of population health.”

Along with the funding, COTA announced the expansion of its data access by more than 300%, which now well exceeds 1 million oncology patient records. Varian, an oncology solutions company, made a $20 million investment in the company with an agreement for the two companies to collaborate to create Intelligent Cancer Care tools for decision support. They are exploring an offering that combines COTA’s real-world data with Varian’s patient-reported outcomes, officials said.

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Varian has also negotiated an option to acquire the company at a later date.

In 2020, COTA is projected to double its life sciences customers from eight to 16 and extended its research collaboration agreement with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

COTA data were used in multiple regulatory filings with the FDA and European Medicines Agency as external control arms, COTA officials said, and they expect the increased record access will support new regulatory filings in 2021, officials said.