Digital biomarker startup Koneksa scores $45M in Series C funding

Digital biomarker startup Koneksa announced a $45 million Series C funding round to fuel the expansion of its scientific team and its clinical platform. AyurMaya led the round, with participation from Takeda Ventures, Velocity Capital, McKesson Ventures, Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Novartis (dRx Capital) Spring Mountain Capital and Waterline Ventures. 

This brings the New York-based company’s total funding to roughly $65 million. 

WHAT IT DOES

Focused on helping researchers accelerate drug discovery, the company developed an algorithm-based platform that is able to analyze and integrate raw data from wearable and sensors. 

The startup created a number of biometric monitoring tools that can be integrated into research. Clients can choose to incorporate an at-home spirometry, actigraphy, gait and balance-monitoring tool, and a vital-sign monitoring tool into their research. The system also includes a real-time patient alert and notification system. 

“Digital biomarkers are revolutionizing translational science and clinical practice, every bit as impactful as pharmacogenetics or circulating cell-free tumor DNA biomarkers. COVID-19, the rise of remote monitoring, and virtual clinical trials created the circumstances for rapid adoption and success of digital biomarkers. Increased use of digital biomarkers by biopharmaceutical companies will lead to more lifesaving therapies for patients,” Dr. John A. Wagner, chief medical officer at Koneksa, said in a statement. 

WHAT IT’S FOR 

The company plans to use the new cash to grow its digital-biomarker platform and the self-service tools in its clinical-data-integration products. It also plans to build out its science team, including adding Wagner as its first chief medical officer. 

MARKET SNAPSHOT 

Over the last few years, life science companies and researchers have demonstrated interest in the digital biomarker space. In 2016, Takeda announced a collaboration with Koneska Health focused on using the startup’s biosensor tools in the former’s clinical trials.

Koneska isn’t the only company working in the digital biomarker space. Sonde uses vocal biomarkers to help evaluate for certain conditions. Its tools include a vocal-screening tool for respiratory illness symptoms, as well as a vocal biomarker to help evaluate mental wellness. 

Apple and Biogen teamed up on researchers using digital biomarkers to help detect early-stage cognitive decline. The tech giant is also working with UCLA researchers to look at how wearables and phone data could detect depression.

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