March 7, 2012 source: Angel Capital Association (ACA)
AssureRx Health, Inc. Receives 2012 ACA Luis Villalobos Award for Innovation
Angel Capital Association Recognizes Company For Industry-leading Personalized Medicine Solution
Hats off to one of my portfolio companies, AssureRx today received the the 2012 Luis Villalobos Award from the Angel Capital Association (ACA), the trade association of leading angel investment groups in North America. This award recognizes the most ingenious and innovative idea recently financed by angel groups that are members of the Angel Capital Association (ACA).
AssureRx Health has created a solution based on cutting edge technology that helps clinicians significantly improve patient outcomes while offering improved efficiency and economics to the healthcare industry..
We invested in AssureRX in early 2011 and have seen them grow substantially in the last 12 months. So it’s no wonder they are winning such prestigious awards.
Austin, TX – March 7, 2012 – The Angel Capital Association (ACA), the trade association of leading angel investment groups in North America, announced that AssureRx Health, Inc. of Mason, OH is the winner of the 2012 Luis Villalobos Award.
This award recognizes the most ingenious and innovative idea recently financed by angel groups that are members of the Angel Capital Association (ACA). The award is named in honor of Mr. Villalobos, the founder of Tech Coast Angels, and a true “leading light” in the angel field.
“The Luis Villalobos Award recognizes angel portfolio companies that are startlingly innovative,” said Marianne Hudson, executive director of ACA. “AssureRx Health has created a solution based on cutting edge technology that helps clinicians significantly improve patient outcomes while offering improved efficiency and economics to the healthcare industry.”
AssureRx Health received the award at the 2012 ACA Summit in Austin, TX.
AssureRx Health is a personalized medicine company that specializes in pharmacogenomics—the study of genetic factors that influence an individual’s response to drug treatments. AssureRx Health is dedicated to helping clinicians determine the right drug for individual patients suffering from neuropsychiatric and other disorders.
Many of the estimated 25 percent of adults who will suffer from a mental disorder during their lifetime go through months or years of trial and error to find appropriate medications, with many of them discontinuing treatment without finding relief. That’s because patient responses to drugs are very diverse, based on genetics. While many FDA-approved medications exist to treat psychiatric disorders, clinicians can now use objective, evidence-based standards to select the right medication for each patient.
“We have a technology that can help transform treatment,” said Mr. Burns. “Our company is a model of where individualized diagnostic medicine is going. The biology and variability is so complex that you need information technology to put the information together.”
Ohio TechAngel Funds of Columbus, OH nominated AssureRx Health for the award. The Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital both developed the intellectual property and provided early investments in AssureRx Health.
“We are highly optimistic that this company’s technology is cutting edge and the wave of the future,” said Victor M. Thorne, director of Ohio TechAngel Funds. “Genetic testing is something the medical community is attracted to and adopting rapidly. Mayo and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital are among the best in the world when it comes to genetic testing and psychiatric care.”
A syndication of angel and venture capital investors participated in Series A and Series B rounds. Queen City Angels and the Blue Chip Validation Fund led the first Series A round, with Ohio TechAngel Fund II, North Coast Angel Fund, CincyTech, Lake Street Capital, and almost two dozen sidecar angel investors investing in round extensions. The Series B investment was led by Claremont Creek Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Allos Ventures, CincyTech, and others joined for a round that exceeded $11 million.
“As an investor, this company is doubly satisfying,” said John Habbert, Series A lead and co-manager of QCA First Fund III in Cincinnati, OH. “The solution is commercially available. We’ve done studies that show this is working with patients now. As this company becomes a commercial success, we are going to help thousands of people feel and function better—in some cases, people who have been ill for years. That’s what’s exciting about this company.”
AssureRx Health is also creating jobs. From a handful of employees, the firm now has more than fifty and expects to employ 100 people by end of year.
“This is what angel investing is all about—the ability to leverage investments for good returns by building real companies with solid management teams to deliver innovative products that create high quality, high paying jobs,” said Mr. Thorne.
“It has been great dealing with the angels,” Mr. Burns said. “If we hadn’t gotten angel support early on, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Their backing kept us going for three years. It’s one thing to get money; it’s a whole other thing to get money and support.”