Press Release - RDMD secures $14 million in Series A financing and announces partnership with UCB in rare neurodegenerative disease
UpdatedApril 16, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, April 16, 2020 -- RDMD, a healthcare technology company dedicated to accelerating drug research for patients with rare diseases, today announced that it has raised $14 million in Series A financing.

RDMD has developed an FDA-ready technology platform that generates deep clinical evidence to accelerate rare disease research and drug development, as well as a patient application that empowers patients and families to participate in research from home. In conjunction with the financing, RDMD has also announced progress to date in these efforts.

“Since our $3 million seed funding and founding in 2018, RDMD has been committed to empowering patients with rare diseases by driving access to their own medical data and providing an easy way to directly impact future drug development for their conditions. Today, we are the only patient-centered, regulatory-grade, real world evidence platform focused on the unique and growing challenges in rare disease drug development. The traditional model just isn’t cutting it for rare disease communities and we aim to redefine the model,” said Nancy Yu, co-founder and chief executive officer of RDMD. “We are honored to welcome such a tremendous Series A group of leading healthcare and tech investors who believe in our mission. We are also very excited to announce success in establishing industry partnerships and growth in our patient communities. We have advanced from one condition focus to 12 conditions in less than two years, with plans to be in more than 30 conditions within a year. In a time of uncertainty for the world during the current COVID-19 pandemic, we want the rare disease patients and communities that we serve to know we are still working hard to make important progress in partnership with the entire rare disease community.”

Series A Financing

RDMD’s $14 million Series A financing was led by Spark Capital, with participation from existing seed investors Lux Capital, Village Global and Garuda Ventures, and new investor Maveron Capital. In addition, angel investors representing a diverse group of executives from various healthcare technology, biopharmaceutical and technology companies, as well as patient foundations, participated in the round.

Proceeds of the financing will be used to:

  • Expand into 20 additional rare diseases
  • Launch corresponding research studies for each of the new conditions, which will help researchers better understand the natural progression of each disease and design better trials as a result
  • Offer new and improved research experience and research insights to participants in each rare disease community
  • Expand the company’s collaborative partnerships with patient organizations and academic consortiums ready to build a regulatory-grade evidence platform in their conditions
  • Grow the company’s commercial partnerships with new and existing biopharmaceutical customers
  • Further expand the company’s international platform capabilities
  • Expand the company’s team, including key senior leadership hires
  • Ensure continuity of research programs throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

In conjunction with the financing, Nabeel Hyatt, general partner at Spark Capital, joined the company’s board of directors. At Spark, Mr. Hyatt focuses on early-stage investments. He was the sole outside board member at Cruise Automation and serves on the boards of Capella Space, Discord, Harmonix, Instawork, Proletariat, Postmates, Smash.gg, Sonder and Zum. Mr. Hyatt looks to support companies that develop a rare combination of design, technology and community to transform markets.

“There are more than 7,000 rare diseases, impacting 1 in 10 people globally, and few drugs to treat them,” said Mr. Hyatt. “RDMD is both fueling rare disease drug development and helping patients become active participants in the creation of future therapies for their conditions. I am thrilled to join the board to help contribute to the rapid success the company has made to date.”

Partnership Updates

RDMD today announced a partnership with UCB for up to five years to enable research in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare neurodegenerative disease. UCB will leverage RDMD’s platform of real world evidence to advance UCB’s drug discovery and development efforts in PSP. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

In addition, RDMD is now partnering with patient advocacy organizations and physician consortiums across its 12 conditions, including the Children’s Tumor Foundation, Cure GM1 Foundation, Cure IBM, Cure Sanfilippo Foundation, International Foundation for CDKL5 Research, Myositis Support and Understanding Association, National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association, NF2 Biosolutions and the PSP & CBD Foundation.

“There is so much we still need to know about many rare diseases, including Sanfilippo syndrome, the condition my daughter Eliza is living with. RDMD gathered more than 7,000 medical records from hospitals across the U.S. and Canada for our Sanfilippo community, and their research team generated meaningful insights to produce a research poster within months,” said Dr. Cara O’Neill, Chief Science Officer of the Cure Sanfilippo Foundation. “The best part is that patients didn’t have to pick up the phone to call their hospitals once - RDMD did all the legwork behind the scenes.”

Patient Application and Platform Updates

RDMD’s patient application aims to make participation in drug research online easy, secure and transparent, while ensuring that patients have full access to and ownership of their medical records.

Since the launch of RDMD, the company’s patient application has grown to more than 1,000 users in 12 conditions, including neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP), Myasthenia gravis (MG), GM1 gangliosidosis (GM1), inclusion body myositis (IBM), Sanfilippo syndrome (MPS III), thymidine kinase type 2 deficiency (TK2d), Hunter syndrome (MPS II), Wilson disease and CDKL5 deficiency.

In October 2019, RDMD was invited to speak at an FDA-organized event at Duke Margolis Center for Health Policy on using Real World Evidence in a regulatory setting, highlighting many of the challenges of generating high quality evidence in rare disease communities.

To date, RDMD has successfully acquired patient medical information from more than 1,500 hospitals. RDMD has also expanded its platform internationally to patients in Canada, and plans to expand into Europe in the near future.

About RDMD

RDMD is a healthcare technology company dedicated to accelerating treatments for patients with rare diseases. RDMD has developed a technology platform that generates FDA-ready evidence to accelerate rare disease research and drug development, as well as a patient application that empowers patients and families to securely participate in drug research online and benefit from their own medical data. RDMD was founded by co-founder and CEO Nancy Yu and technology developer Onno Faber, following his diagnosis and journey with the rare disease neurofibromatosis type 2. The company is backed by Lux Capital, Spark Capital, Maveron Capital, Village Global, Garuda Ventures and a number of angel investors. For more information, visit www.rdmd.com.

About Spark Capital

Spark Capital is an early and growth stage venture capital firm that invests in bold companies that are defining new industries such as Affirm, Carta, Cruise, Discord, Oculus, Plaid, Slack, Twitter, and Wayfair. Spark invests in companies at all stages of their life cycle. The firm’s most recent funds include a $450 million early-stage venture fund and a $850 million venture growth fund. In total, Spark has over $4 billion under management with offices in San Francisco, Boston and New York. For more information, please visit www.sparkcapital.com.

Originally posted at April 16, 2020

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