Completion of a second round of funding could help bring closer to market Progentec Diagnostics‘ new tool for predicting lupus flares and a biomarker-based index that monitors underlying disease activity.
Funding for Progentec’s biomarker-based diagnostic testing was led by venture capital outfits i2E and OCA Ventures, with participation by global healthcare provider NMC Lifesciences. Using technology created by the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, the platform is touted as being able to detect impending flares and track underlying disease movement.
“Today’s funding round is the next step on our journey to making this and other advanced tools commercially available to patients with lupus, a disease that afflicts more than one million Americans, many of whom are women,” Mohan Purushothaman, PhD, Progentec’s CEO, said in a press release. “The Progentec tests will become powerful tools to help patients and healthcare providers stay ahead of lupus.”
NMC Lifesciences brings an integrated multivertical and multibrand private healthcare network that includes 2,000 physicians and 8.5 million patients globally.
“NMC is looking forward to a strong symbiotic partnership with Progentec, delivering value all across the healthcare delivery ecosystem,” said Prasanth Manghat, CEO and executive director of NMC Health, parent company of NMC Lifesciences.
Oklahoma-based Progentec has also acquired LupusCorner, a patient-centered platform for individuals with lupus nephritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. The company hopes to use the LupusCorner infrastructure to create an innovative and comprehensive lupus management platform.
According to Puroshothaman, the addition of LupusCorner and its users will ensure patient participation in the process of creating this platform. LupusCorner uses an array of smartphone-geared tools to help track patient-generated data and health literacy.
“We look forward to advancing the platform and fulfilling the unmet need for lupus diagnostics and management tools,” he said.
Launched two years ago, LupusCorner was designed to help patients better understand their health and medications by providing clear and accurate information via an online platform shared monthly by roughly 45,000 people living with lupus, a disease that causes the immune system to attack the body’s own tissues.
LupusCorner founders Arif Sorathia and Brett Adelman will join Progentec and help direct its efforts.
“Our goal is to empower our users to be active participants in their healthcare and we are excited to be part of Progentec,” Adelman said. “This is a giant step towards uniting patient-generated data with clinical measures to improve patient outcomes.”
Progentec’s mission is to create and commercialize state-of-the-art diagnostic interventions in therapeutic areas with high levels of unmet need. The company used $1.25 million in earlier financing from OCA Ventures, i2E, and Mayo Clinic Ventures to improve algorithms behind the lupus tools.