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VC Aspire Universal Forms Personalized Medicine Investment Fund

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Venture capital firm Aspire Universal announced today that it has established a personalized medicine investment fund.

According to Aspire, the Aspire Ventures Precision Medicine Fund (AVP) will invest in and accelerate the development of personalized medical devices and therapies. Aspire and health system Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (LG Health) — which cofounded the healthcare technology center Smart Health Innovation Lab with Capital BlueCross and Clio Health in 2017 — will act as AVP's general partners and have committed an initial $30 million to the fund.

An estimated eight startups will received AVP funding each year, as well as access to Aspire and LG Health technical expertise, intellectual property, anonymized patient data, and other resources for R&D, clinical trials, insurance reimbursement, and health system adoption, Aspire said. Startups will also proceed through a 12-week certification process at Smart Health Innovation lab that is designed to accelerate insurance reimbursement and pilot deployments.

"The overwhelming majority of healthcare investments fail because they are designed in isolation from the health systems that use them," Essam Abadir, AVP fund manager and managing partner of Aspire, said in a statement. "As a result, they are extremely capital intensive and take a very long time to go through R&D, the FDA, and gain market traction. By establishing the new AVP fund, we are pursuing the promise of precision medicine as one of the main drivers for healthcare transformation."