NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Syapse said today that has created a Global Partner Program in a bid to speed up the implementation of its Precision Medicine Platform at healthcare organizations globally.
Under the program, Syapse will build an ecosystem of partners that will include system integrators, electronic health records vendors, testing labs, specialty pharmacies, and health plans to further complement the capabilities of its platform.
The ultimate goal, according to Syapse, is to enable it to provide healthcare systems with a comprehensive suite of integrated capabilities that help them scale their precision medicine programs. The program will also increase the number of trained resources available to the company to implement the Syapse Precision Medicine platform in health systems and cancer care networks.
The strategy is a common move for enterprise software companies that are starting to scale and expand their footprints, according to Jonathan Hirsch, Syapse's founder and president. These firms typically launch partner programs to provide more formal frameworks for working with their collaborators and growing customer bases. The same is true for Syapse as the company experiences rapid growth and increased demand for its platform.
"The demand from health systems is so great [and] ... there's only so much that an independent software company can do to really deploy a large system," Hirsch told GenomeWeb. "We need to partner with these other organizations in order to get our software really deployed at scale."
Furthermore, the rise of precision medicine is disrupting standard operations that health systems have historically used to care for patients. For example, it's changing existing models for providing chemotherapies to cancer patients, according to Hirsch. Patients are moving away from chemotherapy offered under a buy-and-bill model towards specialty pharmaceuticals that are provided under a limited distribution model.
"In order for us to go into a health system and really help them adopt precision medicine, we really need to help them solve the pharmacy problem," he said. "One of the things we are going to be doing is working with specialty pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers, and other stakeholders in that space to help bring a pharmacy solution to these health systems."
Hirsch said that the company already has a number of partnerships in place under the program. For example, it has a collaboration with Caris Life Sciences to collect molecular and genomic information and combine it with clinical treatment and outcomes data from the Caris Centers of Excellence for Precision Medicine Network. The company could potentially disclose details about additional partnerships later depending on the nature of the agreements it has with partnering companies.
"Syapse has a unique solution in the market," Hirsch said. "We are the only company that really focuses on the clinical delivery of precision medicine and that combines not just the ability to pull together and aggregate clinical and genomics data ... but also to then provide a clinical decision support workflow and cloud improvement framework to support the clinical use of precision medicine." For systems integrators or an EHR vendors that want to provide additional value to their customers, "we are this unique solution that you can bring in and really help your health system customer quickly implement a precision medicine program," he said. "It's a new business opportunity for those organizations."
Partnering with Syapse could also be an attractive prospect for specialty pharmaceutical companies or testing labs whose businesses are driven by patient volume, according to Hirsch.
"If you look at the Syapse customer base and all of our relationships with large health systems like Intermountain Healthcare ... that represents a significant patient volume that a lot of these testing labs and pharmacy companies want access to," he said. "Syapse can offer a convenient and easy mechanism to make those testing and drug distribution services available to the most number of patients as quickly as possible."
Moreover, the company's platform is already prepped to integrate with those developed by partner firms. Syapse's platform includes application programming interfaces that make it easy for external systems to connect to its software, and transmit to and pull data from its systems. Molecular testing labs that implement the company's solution, for example, can use it to order tests and return results to physicians. The University of California, San Francisco, for example, uses the Syapse platform for this purpose. Oncologists can use the system to order cancer genetic test panels and receive test results in a Syapse-powered window in the institution's electronic medical record system.
Also, Syapse has inked integration agreements with companies such as PierianDx. That agreement lets the company combine the Syapse platform with PierianDx's Clinical Genomicist Workstation to provide a genomic testing workflow that can be offered to hospitals' pathology laboratories.
"From the beginning of building our platform, one of the key ideas that we had in mind was that we are not going to be able to do everything," Hirsch said. "So we've built our software platform to make it easy to connect third-party services into that software platform." Most of the work related to the partnership program has gone into setting up the business side of things. For that, Syapse recently hired BG Jones as vice president of global partner alliances to lead the partner program, and plans to hire additional staff later on.
Jones previously led global partner alliances and strategic business development at Orion Health. He will also be responsible for expanding Syapse's footprint in healthcare agencies and clinical research institutes as well as in international healthcare systems.
"There is a massive opportunity to accelerate the adoption of precision medicine in the US healthcare marketplace and internationally," Jones said in a statement. "By bringing together complementary partners across many clinical disciplines, we have the ability to [create] operational best practices [and make] the successes of early adopter institutions replicable at other institutions around the globe."
Recently, the Palo Alto, California-based company announced that it had raised $25 million in a Series C financing round that it planned to use to expand its business including increasing its headcount and developing new applications for its software.