Cincinnati Enquirer: New Money For Assurex Health in Mason
Anne Saker, email@example.com
Assurex Health, a big Cincinnati startup success, announces a new $30 million in capital investment to expand its sales force and education programs for medical personnel about its GeneSight test.
Assurex Health, the Mason startup now growing into a robust adolescence with its GeneSight testing for behavioral health and chronic pain, announced a Christmas present for itself Tuesday: $30 million in fresh equity financing.
Chief Executive Officer Virginia Drosos also said the rapidly expanding company expects to make a decision by the middle of January about whether to stay in Mason or Ohio. While she would not elaborate, Drosos did add, “We’ve had fantastic discussions with the state of Ohio.”
The new money for Assurex Health comes at the end of a big year for the company. The Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicare announced that they will pay for the GeneSight test for patients, which will mean millions of dollars in reimbursements for Assurex Health.
The GeneSight test reports on a patient’s genetic sequence, which allows a doctor to better prescribe which of 38 approved medications will more compatible and ease conditions such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and other mental-health conditions.
Drosos said that as of Tuesday, more than 127,000 patients have been tested with GeneSight.
The fourth, or Series D influx of equity dollars “is coming from a combination of existing investors wanting to help continue the growth of the company and several new investors who want to support the company,” Drosos said.
The two new players in Assurex Health are Cincinnati’s own American Financial Groupand Cross Creek Advisors of Salt Lake City. Drosos noted that Cross Creek is a firm that often waits to see how well a startup progresses in its growth before buying into the business.
Existing investors include Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic, which developed the test; the local startup angels CincyTech and Allos Ventures; Sequoia Capital of Menlo Park, California; Claremont Creek Ventures of Oakland, California., and Danmar Capital of Los Angeles.
Drosos said the injection of money will allow the company to expand its sales force from the current 70 people to more than 100 by the end of the first quarter of 2015. The money also will “allow us to continue building our education,” Drosos said.
“The whole space of pharmacogenetics is new, and psychiatrists in particular haven’t had good diagnostic tools that can help them make better treatment decisions,” she said. “We spend a lot of time and effort educating practitioners about GeneSight and the profound difference it can make.”
Assurex Health is outgrowing its 25,000 square feet of space in the Mason Community Center, with its lab in the basement of Mason City Hall. Last month, Drosos told The Enquirer the company was contemplating a move out of state for an envisioned new facility to run at least 60,000 square feet. Tuesday, Drosos said a decision about the company’s new home is now a matter of “dotting the Is and crossing the Ts” and will be revealed next month.
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