Takeda invests in patient-centric data firm Seqster


US startup Seqster, which it claims to “put the person at the centre of healthcare”, has just attracted drugmaker Takeda as a strategic investor.

San Diego-based Seqster has developed a portal that gathers together a patient’s data – such as electronic health records (HER), genetic information, fitness results from wearables etc – and keeps it in a secure format that gives control over its collection, ownership and sharing.

The investment in Seqster is “a cornerstone of our digital health strategy,” according to Bruce Meadows, head of investments at Takeda Digital Ventures, who says the key element is “interoperability” for health data sharing.

The Japanese drugmaker – which hasn’t revealed the size of the investment – thinks Seqster’s platform could help enhance clinical trials, patient engagement, and improve clinical outcomes.

Seqster’s platform “addresses interoperability on not only a nationwide scale but also globally,” according to Meadows, who notes that interoperability “is one of the biggest barriers to applying precision medicine to clinical trials and patient engagement.”

It is also a key objective for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the US.

The two agencies have a pair of proposed rules on interoperability and patient access to health information under review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that could come into effect later this year.

A key part of those proposals is to allow patients easy, electronic access to their personal health information at no cost.

The Seqster Research Portal (SRP) can be used to speed up recruitment into clinical trials, as well as the consent process, and can work with a broad range of study types including patient registries used to generate real-world evidence, says its developer.

“Seqster provides clinical trial participants a secure platform to consent and share their data with investigators and study personnel in real-time,” according to the company’s chief executive Ardy Arianpour.

In turn, that creates “a longitudinal health record that facilitates patient clinical trial onboarding, monitoring and post-trial follow-ups,” he adds.

Seqster says the SRP platform currently connects users to more than 3,000 healthcare providers and over 100,000 hospitals and clinics across the US.

13 February, 2020