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US$5m funding into Trellus Health to transform care for complex chronic conditions
EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc (AIM: EKF), the AIM listed point-of-care business, has made a US$5 million investment into Trellus Health Limited (“Trellus Health”), a resilience-driven digital health solution for complex chronic conditions. The investment will be used to support the newly incorporated company’s work to transform the way chronic conditions are treated, with an initial focus on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
As previously announced, EKF and Mount Sinai Innovations Partners entered into a relationship to identify technologies to advance a novel digital health platform for early intervention and better care management for patients with IBD, resulting in the formation of and investment into Trellus Health.
The financing was led by EKF in partnership with Mount Sinai Health System (“MSHS”). EKF believes that the Trellus Health digital health platform will provide substantial value for patients and providers, and has the potential to provide attractive returns to shareholders. It is the Trellus Health investors’ intention, in the future, to conduct initial market soundings to determine the feasibility and timing of an initial public offering (IPO), and the potential admission to trading on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM) for Trellus Health. If an IPO was to take place the expectation would be for this to take place in early 2021. EKF expects to distribute its holding in Trellus Health to its shareholders by way of a distribution in specie as soon as is practicable. Further announcements will be made, as appropriate.
Trellus Health has also entered into an exclusive multi-year licence with MSHS to commercialise its patent pending GRITT-IBDTM resilience assessment and personalised treatment methodology. Better evaluation and personalised management of IBD patients, including the implementation of appropriate care delivery pathways in a more timely manner than current practice allows, is expected to deliver better healthcare outcomes (including quality of life and fewer hospitalisations) and on a more cost-effective basis than current approaches.
Ninety percent of the United States’ $3.3 trillion annual health care expenditure is for chronic diseases, with patients suffering from both chronic medical and mental health conditions costing twice as much, according to CDC1. The first chronic condition that Trellus Health will address is IBD, one of the costliest chronic conditions with a high associated mental health burden, affecting three million patients in the U.S2, (7 million globally) and costing the U.S. healthcare system over $30 billion a year, according to The Cost of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: An Initiative From the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation 20193.
Erik Lium, President, Mount Sinai Innovation Partners, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Innovation Officer at Mount Sinai, and board member of Trellus Health stated: “Crohn’s disease was discovered at Mount Sinai by Dr. Burrill Crohn nearly 100 years ago, and the Mount Sinai Health System has made great strides in enhancing the standard of care and outcomes for our patients. We’re pleased to partner with Trellus Health and EKF to advance commercial development of a resilience-driven approach and connected care model for treating IBD and other complex chronic conditions, making Mount Sinai’s technology available to more patients.”
Resilience-driven care incorporates positive psychology principles into all aspects of chronic disease management, with a focus on building acceptance, optimism, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and social support. Proven health benefits of resilience include increased longevity, cardiovascular, immune and cognitive function, as well as physical well-being and reduced risk for depression and anxiety.
In a recent study published by Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Journal4, findings demonstrated that high levels of resilience are independently associated with lower disease activity and better quality of life in patients with IBD. The study also suggested that resilience may be a modifiable factor that can risk-stratify IBD patients to identify those prone to poorer outcomes. Investigators of the study included Trellus Health co-founders Marla C. Dubinsky, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Chief of Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, co-director of the Susan and Leonard Feinstein IBD Clinical Center at Mount Sinai, and board member of Trellus Health, and Laurie Keefer, PhD, Director for Psychobehavioral Research in Mount Sinai’s Gastroenterology Division. Drs. Dubinsky and Keefer have more than 40 years of combined experience managing IBD patients utilizing a personalized, patient-centric approach that focuses on building resilience in people living with IBD.
Julian Baines, CEO of EKF Diagnostics, said: “EKF is very excited to support the commercial advancement of Trellus Health, alongside Mount Sinai. This is another example of our combined support for a pioneering medical approach that can make a huge difference to the well-being of people with complex chronic health conditions, as well as driving much needed healthcare economic benefits. IBD is one of the most costly and complex incurable diseases and Trellus Health’s digital health platform has already been used within Mount Sinai to show how this approach can reduce unplanned hospital interventions.”
Monique Fayad, CEO of Trellus Health, said: “We are transforming the way complex chronic conditions are treated by developing a resilience-driven connected care platform that integrates precision medicine with psychosocial care. The traditional journey of medical care for people living with chronic conditions typically results in repeated costly, unplanned emergency room visits and hospitalizations, high rates of work absenteeism and lost productivity, as well as chronic disability and behavioural health issues. We’re working to change this by focusing on building patients’ resilience while integrating all partners in care, including employers, insurance plans, health systems, Trellus-certified GI providers, nurses, psychologists, and dieticians who will utilize Trellus Health’s proprietary cloud-based technology platform to effectively monitor and communicate with patients and their caregivers in real time.”
EKF Diagnostics Holdings plc
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