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ConcertAI rakes in $150M to elevate cancer research

Mar 29, 2022
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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

ConcertAI, an oncology-focused real-world data and SaaS startup, has scored $150 million in Series C funding at a $1.9 billion valuation from Sixth Street.

Why it matters: An enormous amount of spend goes towards cancer care, and real-world data and artificial intelligence can ultimately help improve advances in clinical and outcomes research.

  • 40% of drug development clinical trials are in oncology, while cancer care treatment increasingly becomes more personalized, Sixth Street managing director Adam Kaye tells Sarah.
  • That backdrop calls for the organizing of disparate oncology data into a more unified form, he says, such that companies like ConcertAI can leverage AI and software to help pharma companies be more efficient.
  • “Oncology RWD is a $1 billion market growing rapidly, and we’re targeting hundreds of billions of dollars of spend,” Kaye says. “Time is value to pharma companies.”

The funding, which pushes ConcertAI to $330 million raised to date, will fuel product expansion and investment in sales and marketing, among other things, Sixth Street says.

  • Kaye says ConcertAI is at step one, unlocking the data and analytics to help its customers with drug discovery and health economics outcomes research (HEOR).
  • Step two, Kaye continues, will be about embedding ConcertAI into the clinical trial process — assisting with study design among other things — to ultimately accelerate drug development.

State of play: The idea of organizing oncology data is not that new, but the level of quality and scale that ConcertAI has achieved sets it up to win, Kaye believes.

  • In the last 36 months, ConcertAI says its customer base has expanded to 45 life sciences companies and contract research organizations, with oncology biopharma partners including Janssen and BMS.
  • It says it has supported ~40 new product launches, improving time on therapy by 10% and reducing time for study design and projected clinical trial execution times up to 25%.

The bottom line: Sixth Street is a big believer in the power of unlocking data in health care (consider its investment in Datavant), but data's application in oncology, like other areas, is just scratching the surface.

  • “Our view: while oncology real-world data is probably the most mature of all the RWD applications out there, we’re still in the early innings of where this is going to go across the drug development [continuum],” Kaye notes.
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