Jan 30, 2014

Boston Business Journal: GNS Healthcare raises $10M for big data

boston-business-journal-logoGNS Healthcare Inc. has raised a $10 million Series B funding round led by existing investor Cambia Health Solutions, based in Portland Oregon. New investors, California’s Heritage Provider Network and Mitsui & Co also joined the round. The announcement follows the Cambridge company’s expansion to a second office in Austin, Texas, and a plan to grow head count to 80 from 50 by year’s end, CEO Colin Hill said.
Cambridge-based GNS Healthcare provides data analytics to biotechnology companies including Biogen Idec and Genzyme Corp., health insurers like Aetna and research hospital powerhouses like Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Proceeds of the financing will be used to expand GNS Healthcare’s business across the health care industry.
The company’s platform, in use commercially for ten years, can analyze genomic data, as well as lower-tech demographic and lab test data from electronic medical records to predict which treatments will work best for which patients.
“We are lovers of genomic data,” Hill said in an interview. “But to work in the real world, you have to also make use of everyday demographic data and lab results from blood tests.”
Here are a few examples of the company’s capabilities:

  • advise insurance companies about which drugs and medical devices to cover for specific patient populations.
  • help biotechnology companies design clinical trials to include only patients most likely to benefit from a drug.
  • assist pharmaceutical and medical device companies to prove the value of drugs or devices already on the market, by showing efficacy in certain populations.
  • provide doctors and hospitals with data to choose the best course of treatment for a particular patient.

The company’s partnerships include a deal with the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services to evaluate whether the quality metrics it has established to gauge the success of federal health reform actually work.
GNS is also working with a Washington hospital to identify pregnant women who are at risk for pre-term births.
The company will launch two new products later this year, Hill said. One will help doctors predict which patients are likely to have trouble adhering to their medication regimens – a billion dollar problem that often lands patients back in the hospital. The other will provide data on risk-adjusted cost drivers for health insurers. This tool could, for instance, help insurers set premium rates for insurance products in the new state exchanges that are part of federal health reform.
GNS Healthcare was spun off of another privately-held company, Via Science, in 2010. GNS, as a separate company, raised its Series A funding round of $5 million in March 2012. Prior to the spin off, Via Science had raised $50 million in funding since its launch in 2000.