According to BioSpace, healthcare technology company RDMD has raised $14 million in Series A financing, and developed a partnership with UCB. In addition to growing their platform to discuss 12-20 rare diseases, their partnership with UCB will allow for RDMD to pursue research on progressive supranuclear palsy. Read the full press release here.
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is a progressive neurological disorder that causes patients to have difficulty with walking, speech, and movement. PSP is underdiagnosed or misdiagnosed as Parkinson’s disease, but is thought to impact anywhere between 3 and 6 out of 100,000 people.
Symptoms of progressive supranuclear palsy include issues with balance and walking, impaired eye movement, changes in behavior, apathy, and sleep disturbances. Researchers are unclear what causes PSP. However, patients with PSP normally have abnormal and excess deposits of the tau protein in brain cells. It can also be caused by a mutated MAPT gene. Learn more about progressive supranuclear palsy here.
RDMD: Business Updates
RDMD is a healthcare technology company that seeks to advocate and find treatments for patients with rare diseases. Their unique technology shares evidence to spur rare disease research, and also allows patients to contribute their own information and experiences.
According to co-founder Nancy Yu:
“Today, [RDMD is] the only patient-centered, regulatory-grade, real world evidence platform focused on the unique and growing challenges in rare disease drug development.”
Funding & Platform
Recently, RDMD raised $14 million in Series A financing. Contributors included Spark Capital, Maveron Capital, Village Global, Garuda Ventures, and Lux Capital, as well as some angel investors.
RDMD will use the funding to focus on 20 rare diseases rather than 12. Additionally, RDMD will hold research studies on new rare conditions, expand their team, develop new partnerships, and provide new research insights to the rare disease community. Finally, this money will be used to assist with patient advocacy and collaboration with patient-centric organizations.
The RDMD platform is also getting an update. Currently, RDMD offers patient applications to allow for patients to participate in drug research online. Users with various conditions partake. Right now, the main conditions are:
- CDKL5 deficiency disorder
- Wilson disease
- Myasthenia gravis
- Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura
- Neurofibromatosis type 2
- Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy
- GM1 gangliosidosis
- Inclusion body myositis
- Hunter syndrome
- Thymidine kinase type 2 deficiency
- Sanfilippo syndrome
- Progressive supranuclear palsy
Additionally, RDMD sources patient data from over 1500 U.S. hospitals and medical groups.
Partnership with UCB: Researching Progressive Supranuclear Palsy
RDMD recently began a partnership with biopharmaceutical company UCB for five years. The two will perform additional research on progressive supranuclear palsy. UCB has a history of developing innovative drug therapies. On the other hand, RDMD owns a platform focused on education and real-world experience.
In addition to UCB, RDMD is partnering with:
- NF2 Biosolutions, a non-profit organization seeking gene therapy or immunotherapy options for patients with neurofibromatosis type 2.
- Neurofibromatosis is a rare genetic disorder that impacts the nervous system. Tumors form on healthy nerve tissue. Patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 have a mutated NF2 gene. Symptoms include hearing loss, tinnitus, and poor balance. Learn more about neurofibromatosis here.
- Children’s Tumor Foundation, a foundation that looks to drive research and education around neurofibromatosis. The CTF also partakes in patient advocacy.
Other Rare Disease Organizations:
- National Tay-Sachs & Allied Diseases Association, a non-profit organization that seeks to raise awareness for Tay-Sachs disease, Canavan disease, GM1 gangliosidosis, Sandhoff disease, and Farber’s disease. They also advocate for patients and help to accelerate research.
- Tay-Sachs disease is a rare genetic disorder that causes nerve degeneration and death in the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by a mutated HEXA gene. Children with Tay-Sachs begin showing symptoms around 6 months old, including loss of motor skills, a “floppy” muscle tone, exaggerated startle response, muscle stiffness, hearing loss, and seizures. Learn more about Tay-Sachs disease here.
- Cure GM1 Foundation, which funds research on the fatal GM1 gangliosidosis.
- International Foundation for CDKL5 Research, an organization dedicated to providing resources and research opportunities for families impacted by CDKL5 deficiency disorder.
- CDLK5 is a condition that begins in infancy which causes seizures and developmental delays. Most people affected by CDLK5 deficiency disorder are female. Symptoms include repetitive hand movements, gastrointestinal issues, treatment-resistant seizures, and issues with movement and motor skills. Learn more about CDLK5 deficiency here.
- Cure IBM, which aims to raise awareness and stimulate research for the under-explored inclusion body myositis.
- Cure Sanfilippo Foundation, which is working to develop a cure for Sanfilippo syndrome. Additionally, the foundation also provides grants to fund research projects, such as the Faces2Genes project.
- Myositis Support and Understanding Association, a patient-led non-profit that looks to empower patients with myositis. They offer video events, education, research opportunities, and ways for patients to get involved.
- PSP & CBD Foundation, a foundation that provides funding to find a cure and offer resources to patients with corticobasal degeneration and progressive supranuclear palsy.