Health Care

RDMD gets new money to continue fighting for rare disease patients

12:44:00 AM Rajesh singh 0 Comments


RDMD, a San Francisco based healthcare AI startup which strives to advance research concerning rare diseases, announced on August, 20th that it has obtained $3 million in seed financing.

Lux Capital led the financing round, in which Village Global, First Round's Healthcare Co-Op, Garuda, and Shasta Ventures also participated, along with various angel investors from the biotech and healthtech industry.

RDMD is a healthcare technology company which has developed a platform to produce data insights needed to accelerate rare disease research and drug development. The healthcare AI startup also designed a patient application that helps patients and their families easily access and benefit from their medical data.

What sets RDMD apart from other healthcare AI startups is the reason why it came to be.  When he learned he was suffering from NF2, a rare genetic disorder with no available cure, Onno Faber, RDMD’s founder, chairman and head of product, organized a Silicon Valley “hackathon” in 2017, during which 300 specialist dug into his own DNA to find data to hopefully help other similar patients.

Faber reflected on the experience, saying that “genomics and computing power go hand in hand, and they drastically lower the barrier for anyone to do medical research. Where we used to be limited working in the realm of biology –looking at real cells in labs– now we can do part of the analysis in the computer. We can generate many hypotheses before actually testing them in real cells.”

According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) is a rare genetic disorder that is primarily characterized by noncancerous (benign) tumors of the nerves that transmit balance and sound impulses from the inner ears to the brain.  In more than half of NF2 cases, the disorder is caused by spontaneous (new) mutations of the gene. In other affected individuals, NF2 is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern.

RDMD is not one of the first healthcare startups to concentrate on a single rare disease. Embleema, for instance, had as their first client the cystic fibrosis community. Others, such as  Theracon, which is developing a new treatment for achondroplasia, the most common form of short limbed dwarfism, or Healx, which repurposes existing drugs to fight different diseases, are choosing to focus on drug developing. In all of these cases, AI had a very important role to play, as it is the case with many businesses lately, as they to remodel their strategy by adopting digital technologies in their healthcare business transformation strategies.

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