September 06, 2011
Venture funding is game changer for Mason firm, local startup scene
One of the key measures of a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem is the amount of venture capital available in a region, so local startups should take encouragement from the recent deal between a Mason health-care company and two major Silicon Valley venture capital funds.
AssureRx Health received an $11 million investment, led by Sequoia Capital and Claremont Creek Ventures -- two West Coast funds that have not invested in any Ohio companies in the past. And the two firms are allowing AssureRx to stay and grow in Southwest Ohio.
Local venture funds and angel investors also contributed to the round, including Allos Ventures, CincyTech, Queen City Angels and Cincinnati Children’s Tomorrow Fund.
AssureRx had already raised more than $5 million in seed-stage and Series A funding. The Series B round will help the company expand direct sales and marketing of its first product, GeneSightRx. This is a gene screen that through a cheek swab determines how a patient’s genetic make-up affects his or her ability to tolerate or effectively respond to anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications.
GeneSight is already on the market, and AssureRx is rapidly ramping up its staffing, hiring lab technicians and sales people. It has grown from 14 to nearly 40 people since the spring.
James S. Burns, who was recruited to Cincinnati two years ago to lead AssureRx, says Claremont Creek and Sequoia bring a wealth of experience and capacity to the burgeoning company.
“Our goal is to build the leading medical informatics company, providing pharmacogenetic and other treatment decision support products to help physicians individualize the treatment of patients with neuropsychiatric and other disorders,” said Burns, president and CEO of AssureRx.
Learn more at www.assurerxhealth.com
Read an Enquirer story on how the deal came together