A company that calls itself the ‘Flatiron Health of rare diseases’ and is backed by Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos just raised $3 million

RDMD co-founders Nancy Yu and Onno Faber.

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RDMD co-founders Nancy Yu and Onno Faber.
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RDMD

  • RDMD is a platform for data sharing between patients with rare diseases, doctors, and researchers.
  • The company announced on Monday it has raised $3 million in seed funding led by Lux Capital and Village Global, whose network of backers include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Reid Hoffman.

When Onno Faber was diagnosed in 2014 with a rare disease called neurofibromatosis type 2 that creates tumors in the central nervous system, he blindly combed through the Internet for treatment options before a friend who was doing genetic research suggested a potential clinical trial.

He soon realized there had to be a better way.

Faber then teamed up with former 23andMe executive Nancy Yu to found RDMD, a platform that works with patients, top experts and foundations to collect patient data on their history and symptoms. These records help patients share their data with doctors, get second opinions, and coordinate ongoing care. Patients can also give consent to share biomarkers for drug development and possible clinical trial developments.

On Monday, RDMD announced $3 million in seed funding led by Lux Capital and Village Global, whose network of backers include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos.

Faber likens RDMD to the “Flatiron Health of rare diseases” since it provides a searchable database for patients, researchers and doctors that makes patient data usable for research and drug development purposes.

The problem in the rare disease sector is that there aren’t that many doctors, patients or researchers so it takes a long time to collect enough clinical data to do research. The goal of RDMD is to create a platform that can shorten the timeline for research and development of treatments for rare disease.

“We wanted to bridge the gap between the patient community and the science community,” said Faber.

To date, 150 patients have signed up on RDMD for neurofibromatosis. Although the platform hosts just one rare disease right now, Yu said that the long-term goal of the company is to expand to different types of rare diseases. They also hope to partner with biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the future.

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