McKesson, Merck back Atropos Health’s $33M round to accelerate drug development with AI

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Atropos Health, a healthcare technology company focused on generating personalized real-world evidence, announced today that it has raised $33 million in a Series B funding round. The round included strategic investments from healthcare giants McKesson, Merck, and Cencora Ventures, signaling strong industry interest in Atropos’ mission to bring automated, high-quality evidence to patient care decisions.

The Silicon Valley-based startup plans to use the new capital to expand its operations and double down on key initiatives such as launching in life sciences, expanding channel partnerships in value-based care and oncology, and growing its evidence network of data partners. 

“We’re on a mission to bring personalized evidence for care to everybody in the world. So it’s another step in that journey,” said Atropos Health CEO and co-founder, Brigham Hyde, PhD, in an interview with VentureBeat. “Specifically, we’ll be using this to double down behind our strategic initiatives, which include continuing our launch in life sciences and building on the great traction we have there, also doubling down behind channel partners, particularly in value-based care and specialty care oncology.”

Shaping the future of healthcare delivery with AI-powered clinical evidence generation

Atropos’ core technology, Geneva OS, uses AI and automation to rapidly generate clinical-grade evidence from real-world data. Developed over nearly a decade of research at Stanford, Geneva OS powers applications like Atropos’ generative AI assistant ChatRWD. The platform enables clinicians, researchers, and other healthcare stakeholders to quickly access reliable clinical evidence personalized to specific patient populations — something the company says is lacking in healthcare today.

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“We talk about a concept called the evidence gap,” explained Hyde. “The stat that we have is that only about 14% of daily medical decisions have any high quality evidence behind them. That’s sort of shocking if you’re not in our fields. But the reasons for it are known — publications in the literature are driven by clinical trials, we don’t run enough trials… What if we can use high quality data, analyzed correctly and accurately, to fill that evidence gap?”

Closing the evidence gap: Personalized insights for better patient outcomes

Closing this “evidence gap” is central to Atropos’ mission. The company believes providing clinicians with easy access to personalized evidence based on patients similar to the one in front of them will lead to better outcomes. Hyde gave the example of a physician treating a heart failure patient:

“We have diverse patient populations, they often have comorbidities and different histories,” he said. “What you really need is clear evidence for those subpopulations — evidence that might not yet exist in literature or clinical trials… Let’s not treat every heart failure patient the same. Let’s find the evidence for certain subgroups that generate better outcomes and control costs for those patients.”

Accelerating pharmaceutical R&D with real-world evidence automation

Applications of Atropos’ technology extend beyond point-of-care clinical decision making as well. The company has partnered with pharmaceutical giants like Janssen to accelerate drug development by generating evidence to inform clinical trial design, patient recruitment, and more. Hyde suggested the platform could even be used to simulate clinical trials. 

“What if we have the ability to get great evidence and insight earlier to accelerate your trial design and development,” Hyde told VentureBeat. “What if we can recruit more effectively because we have that information, and more trials are successful? What if we could even simulate clinical trials and know beforehand which ones likely succeed or not? All this is about reducing cycle time in R&D and de-risking clinical trials.”

Atropos’ Series B comes at a time of increasing interest in applying generative AI to specialized domains like healthcare. But Hyde believes building trust through methodological rigor and transparency will be key to success.

“While there’s been a lot of excitement around LLMs, frankly, most of it concerns us because we’re worried about hallucination rates,” he said. “Geneva ensures that there’s no hallucinations, it’s clinical grade quality, it’s incredibly transparent — a decade of publications on how it’s done — and users can trust what’s coming out of it.”

With fresh capital and a star-studded roster of strategic backers, Atropos is well-positioned to bring its vision of personalized, automated clinical evidence to healthcare globally. But Hyde emphasized that this is just the beginning: 

“I think evidence is the currency of value in healthcare… What if I could give [doctors] more evidence, and more personalized, so they make a better decision?” Hyde posited. “Fundamentally, we’re trying to move the world to a point where all patients and all providers have access to quality, personalized evidence for their decision making.”

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