N-of-One Names CEO, Forms Pact With Foundation Medicine

5/31/12Follow @arleneweintraub

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the molecular variations that are identified with the latest information about relevant therapies, so oncologists can tailor treatments to patients based on their genomic profiles.

N-of-One has raised about $5 million from a group of individual investors, some of whom approached Cournoyer last fall and asked her to do some due diligence on the company. Cournoyer says she was so intrigued with the technology she agreed to join the board and then to take over as CEO. “I’ve spent the last five or six years selling electronic health records to large, integrated hospital chains, and I’ve seen the tremendous cost pressures they’re facing,” Cournoyer says. “N-of-One has developed a cost-efficient way to provide oncology strategies.” Cournoyer says N-of-One will strengthen its efforts to sell PrecisionWorks not only to individual physicians, but also to hospitals and oncology-treatment centers.

The company is playing in what’s increasingly becoming a crowded market for personalized-medicine technology. In March, New York-based MolecularHealth—founded by SAP founder Dietmar Hopp—debuted its software platform, which also uses genomic data to provide oncologists with information to help them develop tailored treatment strategies.

Cournoyer says N-of-One is different because it doesn’t just hand its technology over to physicians and expect them to figure out how to use it. Rather the company works with physicians and patient-care teams to make sense of the data, and it provides supportive services, such as logistics management systems that help coordinate patients’ interactions with healthcare providers, diagnostic companies, insurers, and drug companies. “Companies like Molecular Health are taking a very automated approach to providing oncologists with options,” Cournoyer says. “We don’t think you can push a button and come up with a treatment strategy for cancer. Our knowledge base combined with our team is our differentiation.”

The company declines to provide details on its financial situation, though Levin Carter says it is deriving revenues from several sources, including provider groups, individual patients, and partners such as Foundation Medicine.

Levin Carter, who now serves as N-of-One’s president and chief medical officer, says the company hopes to find more partners who are interested in leveraging the increasing pile of data on how genomic variations affect cancer care. “We are looking for other partnerships in what I call the personalized medicine ecosystem—laboratories, provider groups, patient groups, drug companies, payers,” she says. “These are all important stakeholders in the success of personalized medicine.”

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