BJC HealthCare leads $6M investment in data analytics startup

After leading a $6 million investment for CuriMeta, St. Louis-based BJC HealthCare is embarking on a collaboration with the analytics startup that aims to use deidentified patient data to cure illnesses like heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative conditions.

The funding round was co-led by BJC partner Washington University School of Medicine, also based in St. Louis.

"We have the tools to shape our future," said Richard Liekweg, president and CEO of BJC HealthCare, in an Aug. 30 university news release. "It's our responsibility to use this unparalleled data platform to chart elusive territory where curing, preventing and predicting deadly or chronic illness is possible."

CuriMeta says it's creating a secure platform to share real-world data sets with life science companies that the three collaborators will jointly review and select.

“For example, such data can help find new uses for existing drugs, and those therapies can be delivered to market quickly and more cost-efficiently, complementing our existing strengths in drug discovery and clinical research, and in turn, providing more options to maintain health and treat disease," stated Philip Payne, PhD, chief data scientist and director of the Institute for Informatics at Washington University School of Medicine.

The collaborators will work to protect patient privacy, in part by using artificial intelligence to build "synthetic" data sets.

"Manufacturers invest billions each year to advance the science of medicine, yet there are still gaps in our understanding of the best way to diagnose, prevent and treat disease," stated CuriMeta founder and CEO Davis Walp.

The startup plans to provide "comprehensive, secure and high-quality health data to researchers in order to ultimately prove the safety, efficacy and clinical value of new or existing diagnostics and treatments," said Darren Brodeur, CuriMeta's chief commercial officer, in an Aug. 30 company news release.

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