Digital cancer care company Kaiku Health has entered into a strategic partnership with pharma and diagnostics giant Roche to offer Kaiku’s tools for symptom management and support to clinics and patients.
Finnish-born Kaiku provides a digital platform where patients can input their symptoms as they undergo cancer treatment, receive feedback for lower-acuity concerns and keep the care team informed so they can intervene and offer support when necessary.
The companies said their long-term goal is to develop and provide more digital health tools “through a multi-partner ecosystem,” as well as advocate for reimbursement for monitoring and management platforms.
“Kaiku Health and Roche share a commitment to make personalized healthcare available for more patients through digital solutions. Together we have already developed therapy and product-specific modules in cancer immunotherapy and other targeted therapies,” Kaiku CEO and cofounder Lauri Sippola said in a statement.
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“Now we are excited to take our partnership further and to expand the reach of digital patient monitoring and management in terms of geography, and across new therapies and cancer types, for a growing number of patients.”
WHY IT MATTERS
This isn’t Kaiku’s first pharma partnership. About a year ago, the company teamed up with Novartis to monitor and manage melanoma, a type of skin cancer. Before the company was acquired by Swedish oncology company Elekta in 2020, it partnered with Amgen to offer digital symptom tracking for multiple myeloma, a type of bone marrow cancer.
Roche is pitching collaboration as a way to improve care and outcomes for cancer patients.
“Digital solutions are becoming increasingly important for delivering quality care to patients. This partnership is a significant step toward delivering digital patient monitoring and management solutions that may help improve outcomes such as symptom burden and quality of life for individuals receiving systemic therapy for cancer,” Dr. James Sabry, global head of pharma partnering at Roche, said in a statement.
THE LARGER TREND
Digital health and pharma partnerships aren’t uncommon. Last week, prescription digital therapeutics startup MedRhythms entered into a licensing agreement with Biogen to develop and commercialize its MR-004 product, which aims to treat gait deficits in people with multiple sclerosis.
In January, Swedish startup Alex Therapeutics entered into a strategic commercial partnership with Pfizer to build digital therapeutics for nicotine addiction. Alex, which recently raised €3.5 million, offers a platform made to help pharma and life science partners create and launch digital therapeutics.
Other companies in the digital cancer care and prevention space include Jasper Health, which announced a $25 million Series A raise in February. Reimagine Care, which focuses on offering in-home care, also recently scored $25 million. CancerIQ, which aims to determine an individual patient’s cancer risk, announced a $14 million Series B in March.