Dog cancer treatment startup raises $5 million from Andreessen Horowitz and others – TechCrunch
One in every three dogs gets cancer, according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. OneHealth, a startup that just raised a $5 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz’s Bio fund with participation from Lerer Hippeau and Y Combinator, aims to make it easier for humans to treat canine cancer, which is the number one disease killer of pups.
“Prevalence and incidence for cancer is much higher with dogs,” OneHealth founder and CEO Christina Lopes told TechCrunch over the phone.
OneHealth’s Fidocure product is designed to make treating your dog’s cancer more accessible and affordable. It specifically utilizes next-generation gene sequencing to better understand the genetic mutation that is causing an individual dog’s cancer. From there, Fidocare offers recommendations and an action plan to the human, outlining the best therapeutic implications and targeted treatment.
“The purpose of the company is actionability,” Lopes said. “The test is the first step. From there, if there’s a certain mutation present, we’ll say what the FDA-approve drugs with data in dogs available are. We’ve been able to then work with pharmaceutical partners and other compounding pharmacies.”
If your dog gets diagnosed with cancer, your veterinarian may recommend OneHealth’s product. Still, you’ll continue to take your pup to the veterinarian, as OneHealth says it is “100 percent partnered with veterinarians,” who must be able to see the furry friend in real life.
The drugs recommended are FDA approved for humans, but do have data relevant to dogs. That’s where OneHealth says it’s invested time and money in understanding those targeted drugs and their impact on dogs.
“While we didn’t develop the drugs, we’ve had to be the ones to do a lot more to close the information gap,” Lopes said.
OneHealth charges veterinarians directly. From there, the vet may or may not charge the patient. Average cancer care for dogs cost $6,700, Lopes said. With markup, OneHealth is designed to cost less than the average cost of care, she said.
“Advances in our understanding of cancer biology have revolutionized how we diagnose and treat human cancers,” A16Z GP Jorge Conde said in a statement. “As research continues to uncover similarities between certain dog and human cancers, OneHealth not only will harness these advances to transform how we care for our pets, but also has a unique opportunity to impact human health as it discovers better ways to manage this devastating disease in dogs.”