Topography Health Launches with $27.5M Funding to Empower Community Physicians to Run Clinical Drug Trials
- After building the world’s largest network of 170,000 physicians, former Gerson Lehrman Group CEO Alexander Saint-Amand co-founds Topography with Andrew Kirchner and Mac Parish
- Emerging from 18 months in stealth, Topography looks to harness local patient-physician trust to reduce historic drug trial participation barriers, unlock drug development supply & demand challenges, and bring exponentially more therapeutics to market
NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, January 19, 2021 — Topography Health, a full-stack clinical trials platform for community physicians, today announced that it has raised $21.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from existing investor Andreessen Horowitz, which led Topography’s initial $6M seed round in 2020. The fresh round of Series A financing marks the company’s formal public launch after 18 months in stealth. One Medical Founder Tom Lee, former Flatiron Health Chief Medical Officer Bobby Green, and Zillow Co-founder Spencer Rascoff are also investors.
Co-founded by Alexander Saint-Amand, Andrew Kirchner, and Mac Parish, Topography is creating a national network of community physicians to expand access to clinical drug trials. Topography’s community physician focus draws in part from Saint-Amand’s 20 years leading global expert insights firm Gerson Lehrman Group, where he developed the world’s largest network of 170,000 physicians. Designed to serve business customers, the network also received thousands of inquiries over the years from patients, loved ones, and caregivers seeking insight on treatment options and clinical trials.
Topography is a full-stack, white-glove clinical trials product and service experience that identifies, trains, and supports community physicians in expanding their clinical research capabilities and scaling clinical trials in their communities. Reducing the administrative and business management burden placed on the physician, Topography helps medical practices better understand their patient populations, recommends which studies have high odds of uptake and impact, recruits patients, and hires, manages and supports research staff. Topography’s digital workflow technology allows physicians to reduce process friction and manage all clinical data in one place. Its data science platform analyzes patient records to help physicians across diverse communities recommend and personalize research for their patients, many of whom may have historically been excluded from or overlooked by promising drug trials.
“Almost all doctors are trained as clinical investigators in med school. But when they graduate and begin practicing, less than 2% continue to do research. That’s a missed opportunity for humanity,” said Yumin Choi, Partner, Bain Capital Ventures. “We’re strong believers in the ability of Topography’s full-stack approach to improve the standard of care for a range of chronic or life-threatening conditions, and we look forward to helping Andrew, Alexander and Mac grow their community physician footprint.”
Clinical trial access barriers are a chronic issue for Americans. Patients with intractable health conditions might qualify for existing drug trials, but in many cases aren’t screened or don’t receive advanced biomarker testing. If patients do access state-of-the-art screening and become trial-eligible, they must afford travel or relocation to trial sites found in a handful of major metros. For patients with chronic health conditions, such as fatty liver disease, the lack of available drug trials means that when standard approaches like weight loss and diet fail, a liver transplant becomes the only treatment option (standard of care).
Potentially life-saving and life-improving therapeutics also wait years to make it into clinical trials. 86% of trial sites fail to enroll the necessary patients, and 50% never enroll a single patient. Trial patient populations fall woefully short of a representative view of the American population.
“Lack of patient diversity in clinical trials is a huge bottleneck in the drug development process, and Topography solves for this by focusing on empowering physicians to efficiently build clinical research and investigative capabilities into their core practice operations,” said Julie Yoo, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “With the boom in pharma and biotech funding, demand for new investigators also continues to outstrip supply, creating large opportunities to unlock novel research capacity across physicians and their patients.”
“Few physicians have the support and infrastructure to continue advancing medical innovation and research in private practice,” said Alexander Saint-Amand, CEO and co-founder of Topography Health. “By collaborating with private practice physicians and equipping them to be clinical investigators, we can expand patient data sets, treat a wider range of chronic or life-threatening conditions, and give more Americans access to the healthcare and therapies they deserve.”
Topography is currently in beta with several community physicians, with an initial focus on metabolic disease. It is actively recruiting community physicians nationally to apply for physician investigator roles. Interested community physicians can contact Topography Health at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Topography Health
Topography Health is accelerating and expanding medical research by empowering private practice physicians to become clinical trialists in local communities across North America. Reducing the administrative and business management burden placed on the physician, Topography helps medical practices better understand their patient populations, recommends which studies have high odds of uptake and impact, recruits patients, and hires and manages research staff. Local clinical trials powered by Topography provide patients with a broad range of health conditions access to personalized clinical trials for the first time. For more information, visit https://www.jointopo.com/.
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