OncoveryCare launches with $4.5M to aid cancer survivors post-treatment

Steven Loeb · May 23, 2024 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/5896

The population of cancer survivors will double between 2008 and 2030

Everyone is happy when someone "beats" cancer, and for good reason: it's a time for celebration as that person just got through what will no doubt be one of the hardest things they'll ever experience.

Not many people think about what happens after that though, and the person's continued struggles: cancer survivors have significant needs after active cancer treatment, including of cardiotoxicity and cancer-related fatigue; complex screening and monitoring protocols; and anxiety and depression linked to cancer diagnosis and treatment.

That's the gap that OncoveryCare (formerly VivorCare) is filling by creating an entirely new category and a modernized system designed to improve post-treatment care for cancer survivors. The company, which was co-founded by CEO Hil Moss, herself a breast cancer survivor, officially launched on Thursday with an oversubscribed $4.5 million seed funding round.

"What we're seeing is a fundamental supply and demand problem: the population of cancer survivors is doubling between 2008 and 2030—due to both increased rates of cancer, as well as improved survival rates due to novel therapeutics—but we don't have enough oncologists to treat the demand," Moss told VatorNews.

"That means that survivors have to "graduate" from the cancer center to free up room for new patients, but most primary care physicians haven't been trained in managing the complex patient population that is cancer survivors. Hence - the survivorship gap! And that's the clinical gap we are filing."

OncoveryCare is essentially creating what it calls the "off-ramp" from cancer care, meaning it is wrapping survivors after treatment in the right care team to manage survivorship: a specially-trained NP, therapist, navigator, and peer mentor, all of which is delivered virtually.

"For us, the site of healthcare is the site of trauma, so it's essential that we meet survivors where they are, in the comfort of their home, for this phase of care," said Moss. 

OncoveryCare works directly with the patient's oncologist and existing care team; while its services are virtual, it integrate fully into the communities it serves, and partner with local referral sources and non-profit groups. The care team then creates a survivorship care model tailored to that specific patient based on their specific needs and the treatment they received.

The company's initial areas of focus at launch include toxicity management, mental health support, navigation and care planning, and preventative care. 

"Many folks don't realize this, but cancer treatments—even novel therapeutics—can come with a variety of short- and long-term side effects, such as impacts on the heart, brain, bones, and more. Our clinical team is equipped with the tools to help survivors manage these effects moving forward," said Moss. 

OncoveryCare's first regional rollout will serve Tennessee to start with, in partnership with community-based cancer care specialists Tennessee Oncology, which treats half of Tennessee’s cancer patients at 35 sites. The organization is also a founding member of OneOncology, an oncology platform dedicated to supporting independent oncology practices through capital, technology, and expertise.

The new funding round was led by .406 Ventures alongside the McKay Institute for Oncology Transformation at Tennessee Oncology, along with additional investors Oncology Ventures and Techstars.

"We could not be more thrilled to be partnering with Tennessee Oncology and the McKay Institute and that is due largely to the people there: it is an incredible group of individuals who are truly dedicated to improving care for cancer patients and survivors, and who think creatively about how to improve the care model in new and innovative ways," said Moss.

The funding will be deployed across two main areas, firstly on the company's focus on execution of its care delivery, and immediate expansion across Tennessee Oncology's 35 clinical sites. The second bucket is growth: both investing in further development of the product, as well as expanding to additional states beyond Tennessee. 

"At Oncovery, we are creating a new category of cancer care: filling the stark clinical "gap" that current exists. We won't stop until that gap is filled! That's what drives us everyday," said Moss.

(Image source: sunsetgd.com)

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