Vinehealth raises $5.5m to improve the quality of life and survival of cancer patients

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The round was led by Talis Capital, with participation from Playfair Capital, Ascension and healthcare heavyweights

Vinehealth announces it has raised $5.5m in seed funding. The round was led by Talis Capital, with participation from previous investors Playfair Capital and Ascension.

We are delighted to have received such credible investor support to continue on our mission to empower and support those with cancer.

It’s imperative that we start understanding how therapies are affecting patients: for pharmaceutical companies, our technology enables deeper patient understanding which leads to better drugs, greater differentiation and faster licensing, as well as the ability to provide personalised scalable support to patients. For patients, this means better care and improved outcomes from cancer.

We’re now looking forward to applying our rich data and machine learning capabilities to novel predictive analytics to generate even richer insights for our life science partners.

Rayna Patel, founder & CEO of Vinehealthю

A number of angels also participated, including

  • Keith Gibbs, former CEO of AXA PPP Healthcare;
  • Pam Garside, partner at Newhealth;
  • VOYAGERS Health-Tech Fund, led by David Rowan, founding editor of WIRED;
  • David Giampaolo, healthcare entrepreneur and founder of PI Capital;
  • Deepali Nangia, venture partner at Speedinvest and Atomico Angel; Faisal Mehmud, Vice President and former Medical Director of Bristol Myers Squibb;
  • KHP, a collaboration between King’s College London, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust.

The company will use the funding to further develop its product, scale its team and expand in the US.

Founded in 2018 by Rayna Patel and Georgina Kirby, Vinehealth is a digital health platform that improves the quality of life and outcomes of cancer patients. Using a combination of behavioural science and AI, the company’s intelligent digital technology provides highly scalable patient support programmes and collects rich data.

Rayna Patel and Georgina Kirby, co-foudners of Vinehealth
(from left to right) Rayna Patel and Georgina Kirby, co-founders of Vinehealth

Rayna Patel (Co-Founder and CEO at Vinehealth)

Dr Rayna Patel is an academic medical doctor with an MPhil in Translational Medicine. She graduated top of her year in Medicine from the University of Cambridge and has spent her career working across frontline hospitals, government policy and clinical trial research.

She has conducted research at the Universities of Cambridge, Harvard, MIT and Columbia. She was an Associate Fellow of Clare Hall College, Cambridge.

Rayna later became one of NHS England’s National Clinical Entrepreneurs and has subsequently held strategic & commercial roles in government policy, tech startups and VC investment.

Rayna most recently led on building health technology platforms at the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights Team (‘Nudge Unit’), where she was applying evidence-based behavioural interventions to rewire patient behaviours through digital platforms.

Georgina Kirby (Co-Founder and CTO at Vinehealth)

Georgina Kirby is a machine learning and data science expert with 10 years of industry experience building AI-driven healthcare technology. She trained at McLaren Applied Technologies and was later headhunted into a role as Head of Data Science at Touch Surgery, where she was part of the Executive Leadership Team leading a company of 150 employees and responsible for technical and commercial development of the business. She was instrumental in their growth to series B, culminating in the company being acquired by Medtronic in January 2020.

Georgina was a technical lead on the first-ever remote-monitoring, data-driven clinical trial run at GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) in partnership with McLaren; she developed the pioneering machine learning algorithms used to analyse sensor data to determine disease progression in patients with motor neurone disease. Using activity, sleep, speech and heart rate variability data, these algorithms modelled and predicted deterioration for the purpose of more optimal drug development.

Georgina also led the partnership between McLaren and Oxford Medical School, where she worked closely with leading surgeons and developed the algorithms to predict outcomes and the recovery of patients after major surgery. These clinical decision-support tools were jointly developed in order to significantly enhance the delivery of key medical services and optimise the treatment journey for serious conditions.

Vinehealth mobile application
Vinehealth mobile application

Using Vinehealth’s app, patients can better self-manage their medications, side-effects and symptoms, and can regularly enter ‘patient-reported outcome’ (PRO) data to support clinical decision-making, inform service delivery and drive clinical research.

This data is hugely valuable to pharmaceutical companies, insurers and hospitals: as evidenced by the fact that Vinehealth has already secured its position as the preferred supplier to six top 10 global pharmaceutical companies and CROs, including Novartis.

Uniquely, Vinehealth feeds this PRO data into its machine learning algorithms to drive even more personalised support to patients and further improve their outcomes. 

Self-management in cancer is increasingly recognised as critical to improving outcomes and reducing healthcare costs. Pharmaceutical companies cannot differentiate or fully realise the full value of their drugs without scalable PRO data. Drugs usually fail, or are delayed, as a result of low adherence and low patient engagement, which is why scalable patient support and rich PRO data are needed to drive effective research and launch strategies for (often very toxic) oncology drug products.

Without sufficient PRO data or patient engagement, pharma companies can see significant delays in bringing drugs to market, losing anywhere between $18m-$240m of revenue for every month a drug is delayed. The traditional approach of collecting PRO data – typically via postal paper surveys – is expensive, slow, low quality and garners poor patient engagement of around 30-40%.

In contrast, Vinehealth secured 100% compliance with PRO collection in its first major study with the Royal Marsden NHS Trust. Companies with access to Vinehealth can see this data via a fully interoperable web dashboard, which can be fully customised to suit any project.

This Royal Marsden NHS Trust study also saw patients report an 87% improvement in quality of life. Better self-management has also been linked to lower hospitalisations and lower patient anxiety. Studies show that encouraging patients to log PRO data prompts timelier and more effective patient-clinician communication, and improves clinical decision-making, patient outcomes and care satisfaction.

Evidence also shows that when patients track their PRO data effectively, survival increases by up to 20%. Vinehealth’s ability to generate rich patient understanding is growing with its expanding dataset, which can now be used to inform ML-driven predictive analytics, enabling life sciences and providers to predict patient impact at any stage of drug development or delivery.

Notably, the Vinehealth app is rated 93% by ORCHA, the world’s largest single source of digital health compliance. This makes Vinehealth the highest-rated cancer tool in the world by a significant margin. This builds on its award of a CE mark achieved in record time earlier this year; a significant regulatory milestone for the company.

With 15,000+ downloads and exceptional engagement seen in research trials, the Vinehealth platform is set to scale rapidly across the life sciences sector, which is urgently in need of scalable technology to drive richer patient insights, optimise patient engagement and improve therapeutic outcomes.

The funding follows a number of grants already secured by the company, including a £1m grant from Innovate UK’s Biomedical Catalyst, which saw Vinehealth deliver its product to eight NHS trusts in a randomised control trial.

Vinehealth has embedded across the cancer ecosystem, working with the leading cancer charities including Macmillan and Bowel Cancer UK, whose invaluable supportive content features in the app. This round of funding will also see Vinehealth’s board become 75% represented by females.

We’re hugely excited to be partnering with Rayna and Georgina: we’d been keeping a close eye on Vinehealth’s growth for several months before we invested in the company, given its unique value proposition where healthcare outcomes work in direct correlation with financial outcomes.

It’s a win-win-win for patients, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies, which is rarely the case in the healthcare space where parties are often at odds with one another.

From our first meeting, the resilience and mission-driven attitude of the founders was immediately clear and is really what made this opportunity so compelling.

Both Rayna and Georgina are clearly incredibly driven to improve the lives and survival of cancer patients, and as a team they possess a unique combination of expertise, skills, and drive to make Vinehealth a success.

Beatrice Aliprandi, principal at Talis Capitalю