myTomorrows is a Dutch startup that wants to disrupt the way patients with unmet medical needs access development-stage treatments — drugs that are still undergoing clinical trials and working there way through a lengthy regulatory approval process. It targets patients who are typically up against time (e.g. specific types of cancer) and for whom drugs that could prolong or improve their quality of life do sometimes exist but aren’t yet “approved” and readily available on the market, even though positive trials have been conducted. Right now, how a patient accesses these treatments is somewhat of a lottery, if they can access them at all. By providing a platform that connects patients, doctors and drugs companies, myTomorrows wants to change that.
Today the company has announced a new funding round: it’s raised an additional $2.2 million from “friends and family”, adding to the $3.8 million previously raised (from myTomorrows president and co-founder, Ronald Brus, and a number of the company’s other founders).
“There are great drugs out there that will only be available, if ever, in 3-8 years,” explains myTomorrows CFO Erdem Yavuz. “Most patients can’t wait that long and clinical trials are over selective, or take place in another country, and placebo/control group risks are too high. We allow doctors and biotech companies to help patients with unmet medical needs, given the complicated nature of providing access to development-stage drugs. Patients and their doctors are being empowered to consider newer options.”
Yavuz says myTomorrows has “no competitors”, in the sense of another online platform to connect patients and their doctors with biotech innovators to actually offer access to certain treatments. Instead, he notes there are “plenty of business-to-business CRO [Clinical Research Outsourcing] type players” who charge up-front fees, which his company is attempting to disrupt.
[Update: London-based TrialReach would seem to be broadly playing in the same space.]
In terms of how myTomorrows plans to make money, it currently charges on transactions, a model that Yavuz concedes requires scale and isn’t yet profitable. In addition, a number of biotech innovators have signed royalty deals with the startup. “So if the treatment passes all the relevant hurdles and is one day approved for marketing authorisation, then myTomorrows will receive a small royalty on sales,” he says.
myTomorrows is currently focusing on patients who suffer from Major Depressive Disorder, Head and Neck Cancers, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cancer, and Prostate Cancer. It says it will use the new funding to expand its range of disease areas, and to increase its global footprint.