San Diego software startup CureMatch Inc. is launching its cancer treatment service with a reasonable price tag for adults and free for children.
The company has a software platform that uses analytics to help doctors determine the best treatments (and latest combination therapies) for cancer patients. The startup’s software combs through millions of possible drug combinations, comparing a patient’s genetic profile with data from clinical trials, scientific publications and other sources to find the best possible treatment regimens. With roughly 300 cancer drugs on the market, the company’s president and COO, Stephane Richard, said there are about 4.5 million possible treatment combinations.
The cost of the CureMatch report is $1,000 for adults and free for children with cancer.
“Children are the ones with the most life to lose,” said Blaise Barrelet, CureMatch’s CEO, in a statement. “Pediatric cancer is devastating. When a kid has cancer, it’s like the whole family has cancer. We don’t want these families to struggle financially, so we are offering our report to them at no cost.”
Personalized cancer treatment starts with genomic testing of the tumor. Genomic testing is not performed by CureMatch, but by one of many third-party companies. CureMatch uses the genomic data in its analysis, and then guides the oncologists so that they can combine drugs in the best way to fight the cancer. Typically, the cost of genomic testing is mostly covered by insurance, according to CureMatch.
"We think the combined cost of the genomic testing and our report should stay between $1,500 and $2,000,” Barrelet said.
Barrelet has personal experience with cancer treatment, as he was diagnosed with leukemia four years ago, according to an interview earlier this year. His experience in the health care system is what inspired him to co-found CureMatch, along with his other cancer tech company CureMetrix Inc.
“Lots of oncologists make money by selling chemotherapy,” Barrelet said at the time. “I call them chemo shops.”
Barrelet said patients should have access to information that could help them get personalized treatment.
CureMatch is financially backed by local venture studio Analytics Ventures, where Barrlet serves as co-founder and managing partner.