Celgene, Novartis back precision medicine analytics startup after recent board addition from CMS

A lot of companies are claiming to provide a better route toward value-based healthcare. But one startup has a lot of heavy hitters from healthcare providers and payers as well as government that are betting it's on the right track.

COTA has staked out its claim to having the first and only digital classification system to unite a number of significant prognostic variables into one digital code aimed at guiding healthcare provider and payer decision-making. It's just raised a new financing for an undisclosed amount backed by Celgene ($CELG), Novartis ($NVS), molecular information player Foundation Medicine ($FMI) and health management consultant firm HealthScape Advisors.

Last month, the New York-based startup also added to its board a former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Dr. Donald Berwick. CMS is obviously the ultimate decider when it comes to value-based care in the U.S.--and one of its sole active proponents.

"Our unique approach and real-world platform help physicians optimize treatment, ultimately facilitating the transition to value-based medicine, and help to ensure the right care for every patient, every time," said COTA's CEO Eric Schultz in a statement.

COTA offers the potential to incorporate massive amounts of data, and to funnel it all into a format that's informative for physicians and payers, many of whom are currently overwhelmed and stymied by the rapid evolution of genomic testing and its implications. The company was created by oncologists and aims specifically to offer detailed guidance to healthcare providers and payers on specific, individual patients as well as on populations.

Existing investors in the company include Hackensack University Health Network, the health insurance company Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, healthcare analytics provider Med-Metrix and the multistate oncology practice Regional Cancer Care Associates.

"The cross-industry support COTA has gained allows us to provide the clearest path of care for each patient battling diseases like cancer, helping them live longer and fuller lives," said COTA founder and executive chairman Dr. Andrew Pecora. "By bringing together multiple constituents across the health care industry, we are able to bridge precision medicine with precision analytics to address the problems of affordability and access and facilitate the acceleration of drug development and molecular-based diagnostic testing, ultimately leading to better patient outcomes."

- here is the release