Lancaster General Health partners with private equity firm to launch $300M precision medicine fund

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Penn Medicine's Lancaster (Pa.) General Health and private equity firm and venture company Aspire Universal will collaborate as general partners on a $300 million precision medicine fund that the organizations launched April 24.

The fund, dubbed the Aspire Ventures Precision Medicine Fund, will invest in devices and therapies that apply artificial intelligence and internet of things capabilities to drive personalized healthcare. The goal of the fund is to accelerate the time-to-market for various emerging healthcare solutions.

Together, Lancaster General Health and Aspire Universal will offer resources related to data analytics and clinical expertise to "fast-track" ventures through clinical trials and FDA approval, according to an Aspire Universal statement.

One component of the collaboration involves the Smart Health Innovation Lab, a joint venture between Lancaster General Health, Aspire Universal and insurer Capital Blue Cross. Eight startups will undergo a 12-week certification process at the lab each year to accelerate pilot deployments and insurance reimbursement.

"The overwhelming majority of healthcare investments fail because they are designed in isolation from the health systems that use them," Essam Abadir, fund manager of Aspire Ventures Precision Medicine Fund and managing partner of Aspire Universal, said in an April 24 statement. "As a result, they are extremely capital intensive and take a very long time to go through [research and development], the FDA and gain market traction."

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