Allscripts and NantHealth are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in each other, deepening their commitment an existing partnership to develop a platform to bring personalized medicine to the point of care, particularly for cancer treatment.
The financial investments build on a partnership first reported in March, as the companies pursue a strategy to develop an integrated, evidence-based, personalized approach to treating patients, initially focusing on cancer care.
Allscripts is a Chicago-based company with healthcare information technology offerings for a variety of provider settings. NantHealth, Culver City, Calif., is a cloud-based information technology company that offers comprehensive genomic and protein-based molecular diagnostics testing. NantHealth is backed by Patrick Soon-Shiung, MD, a Los Angeles billionaire.
The investments include Allscripts investment of $200 million in cash to buy a 10 percent equity stake in NantHealth, thus valuing the company at $2 billion. Experts believe the Allscripts investment sets up the possibility of an initial public offering of stock for NantHealth in 2015.
On the other side, NantCapital LLC, the personal investment vehicle of Soon-Shiung, has made a $100 million investment in Allscripts through a private placement of common stock.
Allscripts declined to disclose exactly how it will use the proceeds of the NantHealth investment, but generally will use the proceeds to further develop integration of existing product and invest in joint development of new IT and other innovations that will help Allscripts bring NantHealth capabilities to the point of care, said Assaf Halevy, senior vice president of strategy and innovation for Allscripts population health business unit.
The joint investments will allow us to collaborate in quite a few areas, Halevy said. It reflects a mutual understanding that it would be a great benefit for both sides and allow us to collaborate in a broader way than we had before. It will allow us to work on joint development and joint commercial capabilities as we go to market together to introduce complementary solutions.
NantHealth has developed a genomic proteomic sequencing (GPS) diagnostic test that is focused on cancer treatment. The testing approach is supported by Eviti, a care planning tool developed at NantHealth, with the intent of bringing personalized treatment approaches and evidence-based protocols to the point of care through a single integrated platform.
It makes sense for NantHealth to partner with a company like Allscripts, which has electronic health records systems for both inpatient and ambulatory settings, Soon-Shiong said in an interview with Health Data Management. The Allscripts vision is that they really believe in the new world of precision medicine, he said. To effectively use personalized medicine, you need to have access to the patient with a longitudinal view of their care. In addition, Allscripts commitment to open systems and interoperability was integral to the decision to partner, he added.
Allscripts strong position among ambulatory practices was also a key in seeking a partner, Soon-Shiung said. Thats because cancer care is complex, and an effective approach must involve an integration between diverse partners, including hospitals, pharmacies, primary care and specialist physicians and the patient. That can only be done through an interoperable platform.
While NantHealths GPS test is commercially available and being used today, the platform is still in development. A full sequencing of the genome, plus the ability to get down to the proteomic level enables NantHealths system to identify mutations of cancer in tumor tissue, run algorithms against it and prescribe specific treatments, Halevy said.
Allscripts hopes to reach out to provider customers who offer advanced treatment for cancer to initially test the NantHealth approach when its ready, he said.
Population health and value-based care will raise the need to move to person-specific treatments for cancer, Soon-Shiong believes. There is a deluge of information as a result of genomics, he said. No longer will it be a single patient compared to a population of patients, but a single patient through genomics can be compared to himself. We need to manage that patients biology, and that will be 21st century population health management.
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