Proteus raises $50M to market its medication adherence system

Ingestible sensor pill, patch and iPad app--Courtesy of Proteus

Proteus Digital Health is a getting a bit long in the tooth for venture capital. It's just raised a $50 million Series H financing--that's pretty deep into the alphabet and brings its total raised to more than $220 million.

The Redwood City, CA-based startup also has a marketed product and a couple of partnerships, suggesting that it might make a good IPO candidate, if only the IPO markets weren't in such doldrums. There weren't any venture-backed med tech IPOs in the U.S. last quarter and there were only 5 biotech IPOs.

"This financing demonstrates confidence in our Digital Medicine platform and deliberate, staged approach to market building," said Proteus President and CEO Andrew Thompson in a statement. "We are at the forefront of the digital transformation of healthcare."

Its Proteus Discover technology offers sensor-enabled medication that is tracked by a wearable patch that transmits data on time of ingestion, heart rate, physical activity and rest to an app. Already, Proteus has gained a series of regulatory clearances both in the U.S. and Europe for its medication adherence tech.

Earlier this month, Proteus released interim outcomes data showing that in patients with uncontrolled hypertension and Type 2 diabetes, the addition of Proteus Discover to a drug regimen results in statistically significant reductions in blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL), both of which are risk factors for cardiovascular events.

In the U.S., partners Proteus and Otsuka are awaiting a first FDA approval of a drug to integrate the system, which embeds the ingestible sensor into Otsuka's Abilify to treat severe mental illnesses including schizophrenia. They made the submission to that agency last September. The Proteus Discover system is cleared to be used in combination with existing drugs for medication adherence monitoring or entirely integrated with them.

Last year, Proteus also nabbed a deal with Oracle to integrate its tech into its clinical trial management offering. And earlier this year Proteus announced its first hospital deal, while also becoming a founding partner of the virtual healthcare clinic created in conjunction with the University of Southern California Center for Body Computing, which is the digital health innovation accelerator at the Keck School of Medicine.

- here is the release