Brisbane’s DoseMe raises $2.6 million to predict perfect drug doses
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From Left, Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt, DoseMe Founder and CTO Dr. Robert McLeay, and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Photo credit: PR

From Left, Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt, DoseMe Founder and CTO Dr. Robert McLeay, and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Photo credit: PR

Able to create personal recommendations off of just one laboratory result, this Australian startup takes pill reminders to a whole new level

Brisbane-based DoseMe, a startup that uses a sophisticated algorithm to estimate proper medicinal dosages precisely for patients, scored a AU$2.6 million investment (~US$2 million) in Series A funding on Thursday.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the wide interest received in DoseMe’s Series A funding round, especially from several Asian-based venture funds,” DoseMe CEO Charles Cornish said in a blog post. He said they got a number of offers, but went with local angel investors and healthcare veterans Greg Spurgin and Gary Cunningham to lead the round because they “have successfully taken Australian health-related businesses to the U.S.”

DoseMe describes their machine learning algorithm as a metabolism predictor. It estimates a patient’s ability to “absorb, process and clear a drug from their system” via a virtual model of the patient to decide an extremely precise dosage for the subject. Impressively, they can form this virtual model based off of just one lab result and data points about the person in comparison to population models. The software also spits back hypotheticals for other medication regimens to let doctors consider other priorities in a specific patient’s care. Corrections and additional information will help the system become even more exact over time, according to the company.

The main priority with the money is to go global: They will move to the U.S. and prepare the groundwork for a launch in Europe. Besides Australia, the platform is still waiting to clear hurdles with the FDA in the United States, but already has CE certification for Europe. The company has become somewhat of a starling for the local scene as it has won an award as best Queensland Startup and entered a partnership with St. Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and another collaboration with Siemens Health. Steve Baxter of Shark Tank fame, who is also on StartupAUS’s founding board, was an early seed investor in the company and will now sit with Spurgin and Cunningham on the board. Spurgin and Cunningham have been in business together before as the founders of orthopedic and PT company Results Physiotherapy.

Who else personalizes dosing?

A very similar scheme designed by oral biology and medicine professor Dean Ho at UCLA is called parabolic personalized dosing, or PPD. This method measures patient reaction to different dosages and to put it simply, averages out a very precise dose for long-term use.

Finding a direct startup competitor is tough, but there are a few companies trying to keep doctors from prescribing the wrong medication. OurCrowd-backed MedAware alerts doctors to problems in prescribing certain combinations of drugs or prescription in relation to a patient’s symptoms. Several companies remind their users to take their medication, some as advanced as Italian startup Amiko, which tracks prescription dispensation.

DoseMe was founded by CTO Dr. Robert McLeay in April 2014.

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