xCures is the Longevity, Health & Innovation Pitch Challenge Winner!

21 Jan

By Rory McCann, Marketing Manager & Conference Producer, LSN

Longevity, Health & Innovation (LHI), co-organized by Life Science Nation (LSN) and Mary Furlong & Associates, hosted the Innovator’s Pitch Challenge (IPC) last week, January 14-15, 2021. Ten pitching companies representing early-stage innovation within digital health, medical devices, and therapeutics took part in two live sessions, during which they pitched live to a panel of investor judges. Attendees and judges voted on the best pitch, and we’re pleased to announce that xCures is the winner of LHI’s Innovator’s Pitch Challenge! Check out the xCures dedicated pitch page and get to know CEO Mika Newton and the xCures team in our recent interview.

Rory McCann(RM): Hi Mika, Congratulations on being selected as the Innovator’s Pitch Challenge winner at Longevity, Health & Innovation. Tell us a little about yourself and xCures.

Mika Newton(MN): I got involved with xCures after losing several close family members to cancer. I had spent 20+ years in the life sciences, primarily developing and commercializing computational technology from early discovery through market access and commercial applications. My projects involved biopharmaceutical, diagnostics, medical societies, and governments, but the impact of what I was working on was always at an aggregate level. With xCures, the impact is direct to the patient.

xCures empowers advanced cancer patients by identifying the best treatment options for them to consider with their physician, tracking their outcomes and continuously learning from every interaction. By maximizing the value of the interaction between patients and their physicians, the platform captures valuable insights and knowledge in real-time to help others. xCures’ partners use this real-world evidence (RWE) to advance the development and commercialization of their products and services.

RM: What is the need in the marketplace you’re filling and how have you found a solution to that need?

MN: There are more than 600,000 advanced cancer patients in the US, of which less than 50,000 can get into clinical trials. xCures makes it possible to learn from the experiences of all patients who give us their data in return for treatment options. xCures’ AI algorithms use these data to continuously learn from every patient and optimize options for future use. Using these tools, xCures provides doctors, hospitals, and payors with life-saving decision support services.

Patients participate with their data. They sign a HIPAA release giving xCures the right to request their medical records. The records are routinely collected from the treating facility as PDFs or fax. These documents are automatically structured into a crisp case summary for use by the patients and their doctors.

Our partners developing and commercializing products and services for the advanced cancer patient use the platform to generate valuable RWE, which is used to accelerate the development of new medicines, expand the approved uses of existing therapies, and demonstrate value for reimbursement.

RM: How did you go about building your team? What considerations did you take into account when developing the people behind xCures?

MN: To build the xCures platform, we assembled a world-class team experienced in artificial intelligence, data science, technology, biology, clinical development and medical product commercialization. Our advisors include leading oncologists and cancer researchers, a MacArthur Fellow, and business leaders with decades of startup experience. The personal nature of the value that our technology creates is a deep motivating factor for all of us. Our culture is built on the premise of accountability to the team and achieving the best outcomes for patients and the project. All of our team members have been motivated by the opportunity to do well by doing good. The more good we do, the better our business does.

RM: What have been some of the biggest hurdles you’ve faced with early-stage fundraising? How have you tackled some of these challenges?

MN: The xCures concept was created with enthusiasm across the investor space. The biggest hurdles have been proving that the vision is attainable from an operational and business perspective. Over the last two years, we have solved three key technical challenges. First, we solved for how to get a deep clinical understanding of cancer patients and generate longitudinal data without adding any additional administrative burden to the system. Second, we applied our tools to create a living master catalog of all the potential cancer treatments, including the options, medical rationales for their use, and access pathways. Lastly, we developed a suite of tools to match patients to a short list of appropriate options, rank the options using predictive models, and convene virtual tumor boards to mine expert insights.

With this working, we were able to launch a number of partner programs on the platform to validate our business model. For example, the first pharmaceutical company to make a product available on the platform accelerated its brain cancer drug development by more than 18 months and received Rare Pediatric Disease, Fast Track, and Orphan Drug designations. Another company uses xCures to make its targeted therapy available to pancreatic, ovarian, colon, melanoma, breast, and lung cancer patients. It will use data from these patients to prioritize future trials.

RM: What’s next for xCures? Where do you see the company in 1 year? 5 years? 10?

MN: Our goal for 2021 is to help 2,000 advanced cancer patients, and we are planning to scale to 10,000 by 2022. This scale – in conjunction with the fact that xCures learns from all patients, all physicians, all therapies, all the time – creates the network needed to power a learning health system. xCures’ platform and data will connect additional stakeholders across the oncology ecosystem through SaaS-based services to payers, providers, and labs that help patients beat cancer.

Registration is now open for Longevity, Health & Innovation, March 18-19, 2021! Save $100 on registration by January 29. The LHI Innovator’s Pitch Challenge is also accepting applications for March, learn more and apply at https://longevityhealthinnovation.com/pitch-challenge/.

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