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Monday, June 9, 2014

WONDERFUL WORLD OF SCIENCE

Proteus raises $120M to scale smart pills

By: Jonah Comstock | Jun 2, 2014     39   31   19

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Ingestible Wearable Mobile Computing[2]Proteus Digital Health has raised $120 million from new, undisclosed investors described as “major new institutional investors based in the United States, Europe and Asia.” The company will use the funding to continue its plans to commercialize its ingestible sensor system at scale, as well as to continue demonstrating the value of the technology on health outcomes and costs.
The Proteus digital medicine platform is a medication management and adherence system that includes unique measurement tools, like sensor-enabled pills, a peel-and-stick biometric sensor patch worn on the body, and companion smartphone apps. The patch records when a pill is ingested and also tracks other things like sleep patterns and physical activity levels. The ingestible sensor component secured FDA clearance in July 2012, while the company’s sensor-laden patch got FDA clearance in 2010.
“We are entering the commercial era of the Internet of Things (IoT) – your car, your clothes and increasingly your personal care products are going to be connected,” President and CEO Andrew Thompson said in a statement. “Our focus is on partnering with major health systems to deliver solutions that enable consumers and their families to switch on their own healthcare, creating critical information that can be used to ensure they and their doctors make positive decisions about use of medicines and personal health choices. A key part of our success will be to ensure that we have the support of investors as we build this market. The financing we closed is an important demonstration of investor confidence in the growth potential created by IoT companies.”
Proteus announced this past March that it would open its first international manufacturing plant for its digital medicine system in the UK, in partnership with parts of the UK’s National Health Service. The company expects to employ 200 at the facility. 
“A large public health system in Europe can’t just buy products,” Thompson told MobiHealthNews at the time. “They issue a commission, which then validates and determines if the [healthcare] system should be buying products. Our anticipation is this is the beginning of a tendering and commissioning process for digital medicine.”
In addition to the funding, Proteus has appointed two new executives. Steve Feiler, former Chief Financial Officer of Hewlett-Packard’s software division, has joined the company as CFO and Jonathan Symonds CBE chairman of HSBC Bank and former CFO of Novartis, has joined the company’s board.
“Proteus Digital Health has created a remarkable leadership position in the digital health care market by enabling medicines to communicate with the internet,” Symonds said in a statement. “This technology has the potential to enable Proteus Digital Health and its partners to re-engineer the existing commercial assets of the pharmaceutical industry in order to create high value proprietary products that leverage the drugs they already sell using the mobile phone in every consumer’s pocket.”
This $120 million is a significant funding raise for a digital health company — it surpasses any single raise from Q1 2014, or from all of 2013.
Proteus raised $32 million in debt financing in January, but the company’s last equity raise was a $45 million round reported a year ago. That round was led by Oracle with participation from existing investors Otsuka, Novartis, Sino Portfolio and others. This $120 million round brings Proteus’s total funding — including the debt — to north of $320 million.

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