Israeli digital health company MD Clone, which enables researchers and doctors to use big data of patients in hospitals for research without jeopardizing their confidentiality, has raised $26 million. Check Point cofounder Marius Nacht's aMoon fund led the round, with participation from previous MDClone investors OrbiMed and Lightspeed Venture Partners. MD Clone has now raised a total of $41 million.
MDClone was founded in 2016 by Boaz Gur-Lavie, Luz Erez, and CEO Ziv Ofek. Ofek was a cofounder of dbMotion, sold to US company AllScripts in 2013 for $235 million. MDClone has 50 employees, most of whom work in its offices in Beersheva. The company's management plans to double its staff in Israel and overseas in the next 18 months.
The Israeli company has developed a unique method of protecting data privacy, while letting researchers use it. Based on the existing information, the company generates a set of fictitious people with fictitious characteristics. None of these fictitious people share a majority of characteristics with any original person, but all of the important statistical ratios between them are preserved. Researchers can therefore ask various questions of the database and get answers rich in information without revealing anyone's personal details. The fact that the use of the data is synthetic also makes it possible to use it for research without the need to obtain approval from ethics committees, thereby greatly shortening the time between asking a research question and getting answers from an existing database.
"Medicine has been putting data onto computers for nearly three decades. Even now, after three decades and many, many millions of dollars, the way that the information is used has not changed; it is required to request ethical approval from a Helsinki Committee, and then ask the IT department to retrieve the information with the their special authorizations, but they are busy. This can't keep up with the current world dynamics," Ofek told "Globes" last year.
The company now has agreements with various organizatrions in the health system in Israel, including Rambam Medical Center, Sheba Medical Center, Sourasky Medical Center (Ichilov), Maccabi Health Services, Clalit Health Services, and Assuta Medical Center. MDClone has also broken through in the US by signing an agreement with Washington University Medical School on the basis of information from the BCJ chain of hospitals. MDClone's customers pay for the right to use its technology and allow the company to use their data. The company's revenue amounts to several million dollars a year.
Full disclosure: Marius Nacht is the former partner of Anat Agmon, a controlling shareholder in "Globes."
What the company does: Technology for sharing medical information while maintaining the patients' privacy.
Founders: Boaz Gur-Lavie, Luz Erez, and Ziv Ofek
Employees: 50, including 40 in Israel
Offices: Beer Sheva, US, and Germany
Capital raised: $41 million in three rounds.
Investors: aMoon, OrbiMed, and Lightspeed Venture Parners
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on August 22, 2019
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