Announcing RDMD: Revolutionizing Drug Development for Rare Disease
RDMD is adding an incredible group of investors led by Lux Capital, with participation from Shasta Ventures, the Healthcare Co-op, Garuda, Vivek Garipalli, Matt Wilsey, Brad Margus, Martine Rothblatt, Vineeta Agarwala and Parag Agrawal, Connie Chen and Kevin Chou, Alice Zhang, Travis May, Ethan Perlstein, Adrian Aoun, Karen and Andy Page, Elizabeth and Kevin Weil, Zoe Barry and others.
The intersection between biology, healthcare, and technology is an area of innovation that we are fascinated by at Village. It inspired our first check investment in VeriSIM Life and a number of other startups we will announce soon.
We had the pleasure of meeting Onno Faber four years ago when he was working out of the same building as Product Hunt. At that time, he was building Taptalk, a social app that was growing wildly.
Out of nowhere, Onno got diagnosed with the rare disease, NF2, and began searching for treatment options. He quickly realized that, like 95% of the 7,000 other rare diseases that exist, there was no FDA-approved therapy available.
Onno promptly had his whole genome sequence performed at the Broad Institute, and organized a hackathon in June 2017 to provide 300 participants open access to his genetic data. During the hackathon, Onno teamed up with his co-founder, Nancy Yu, who had previously led Corporate Development and Special Projects at 23andMe.
Onno and Nancy are the perfect co-founding team. Onno’s personal experience as a rare disease patient inspired him to put his engineering and product skills to work accelerating rare disease research. Nancy has 10 years of experience within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry and has worked at the intersection of biotech and consumer health her entire career. We rarely meet a pair so in-sync and complementary as these two.
Nancy and Onno are working with patients and biopharma companies to aggregate and structure clinical EHR data from patients and top rare disease doctors in order to leverage their data for clinical trials and real world evidence. They combine a truly patient-facing consumer product and service with a robust, regulatory-grade data engine that will accelerate treatments for patients with rare diseases such as NF2. Ultimately, their vision is to power research for hundreds, even thousands, of rare diseases, and help jumpstart new trials before they even exist.
If you’re a talented engineer or physician-scientist looking to join one of the most exciting companies at the intersection of biotech, drug R&D and social good, please consider RDMD.