SoftBank Leads $100 Million Investment In AI And Digital Therapeutics Startup Biofourmis

Cofounder and CEO Kuldeep Singh Rajput quit his PhD program to pursue a lofty goal: use artificial intelligence to predict disease before it

Curated via Twitter from Forbes Tech’s twitter account….

In November, Biofourmis announced a collaboration with Novartis to use sensors and analytics to monitor patients in Southeast Asia, who are taking the heart failure drug Entresto. “Novartis is looking to transform medicine by looking into patient outcomes beyond our medicines,” Miguel Rivera, business model transformation head, Novartis Asia Cluster, said in an email. “By providing services that go beyond the pill, we believe that patients could get access to a better quality treatment throughout personalized monitoring outside a hospital setting.

The other three healthech companies in Vision Fund 2 include liquid biopsy startup Karius, prescription delivery and digital pharmacy Alto and precision gene therapy company Encoded Therapeutics. “We believe the healthcare sector is ripe for digital disruption and we are excited to see companies like Biofourmis deliver new AI-driven approaches that can help save lives,” he added.

Biofourmis announced Wednesday it raised a $100 million Series C round, led by Softbank Investment Advisers, to further expand and develop its product portfolio, which includes digital therapeutics for pain and cancer. “There’s this whole new era, which has evolved, of how do you use software to treat and manage disease,” says Rajput, an alum of the 2019 Forbes Asia 30 Under 30 list.

The funding round makes Biofourmis the fourth healthcare technology investment for SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, first announced in 2019. “We believe predictive health is the future of medicine,” Greg Moon, an Asia-focused managing partner at the Vision Fund, said in an email.

Today his company, Biofourmis, is using AI to help treat heart disease and remotely monitor patients with a range of conditions, including Covid-19.

The need to remotely monitor patients during the pandemic has accelerated the demand for Biofourmis’ other product offerings as well.   “A majority of these patients, like heart failure and oncology, need to be kept out of hospital and remotely managed,” says Rajput.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the company to grow more quickly, though he’s confident his team can handle it. “The fundraise was really geared towards the market opportunity,” Rajput says. “What SoftBank could bring to us, from opening up new markets like Japan, China and the Middle East, where they have great experience, and [Masayoshi Son] himself believing in the vision of the company.

The first is partnering with health systems to remotely monitor patients and prevent hospital readmissions, such as people with heart failure or those undergoing CAR-T treatment for cancer.

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