Kaiku bags cash to show software improves cancer outcomes

Kaiku's software running on different devices (Kaiku)

Kaiku Health has raised $5.4 million to validate its digital health technologies. The money will support clinical trials of patient monitoring tools Kaiku and its investors think could improve outcomes in cancer and other indications.

Helsinki, Finland-based Kaiku has developed a CE-marked Class I medical device that gathers patient-reported data. The system provides feedback to patients based on the symptoms they input and sends alerts to the healthcare team if it detects a worrying pattern in the data. Kaiku thinks patients who use the system are less stressed, call their hospitals less often and get more out of site visits.

The system has gained some traction in parts of Europe, where 30 clinics and 64,000 patients have used the technology. Now, Kaiku wants to expand internationally, build out its pipeline and generate clinical data to validate the efficacy of its technology.

Debiopharm Innovation Fund—the VC wing of the Swiss biotech of the same name—and Tesi led a $5.5 million round to support Kaiku’s plans. The pair were joined in the round by existing investors Reaktor Ventures, Metsola Ventures and Athensmed, as well as Prodeko Ventures. The syndicate thinks Kaiku has a shot at improving outcomes in cancer.

“We are excited about the impact digital technologies will have on the patient journey and are particularly enthusiastic to help take the digital therapeutic approach in oncology out of the lab and onto the market where the benefits of this high frequency monitoring can be expected to bring real outcomes improvement,” Debiopharm Innovation Fund CEO Tanja Dowe said in a statement.

Kaiku’s focus on using software to drive improved outcomes positions it in the fast-emerging digital therapeutics field. The startup’s efforts overlap with those underway at Roche and Voluntis, which have developed an algorithm that analyzes patient symptoms and makes care recommendations.