Digital-enabled opioid use disorder treatment provider Ophelia Health Inc. raised $50 million in a Series B funding round.
The New York City-based company announced Tuesday that Tiger Global Management LLC, also based in the Big Apple, led the round which also saw participation from Good Friends, Menlo Ventures, General Catalyst, Refactor Capital, 640 Oxford Ventures, Interplay Ventures and PillPack Founder Elliot Cohen.
Ophelia Health focuses on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) to help those struggling with an addiction to opioids. Following this investment, the company will expand its treatment program in the U.S., integrate with more payers and partners, and develop a clinician recruitment and retention platform, according to a news release.
“Anyone who wants to stop using opioids needs this medication, but most find it easier to get it from drug dealers than doctors, even if it means spending a thousand dollars per month,” Zack Gray, co-founder and CEO of Ophelia Health, said in the release. “If you can make treatment accessible and reach patients directly, they’ll happily choose professional care instead.”
Gray started the company after losing someone he loved to opioids, the release states.
The company’s mission is to make opioid use disorder treatment universally available by recruiting patients directly, rather than relying on acute medical care providers for referrals to its buprenorphine regimen. It also seeks to “mobilize unutilized clinicians” in the medication-assisted treatment space that patients might not otherwise be able access, according to the release.
The company built a digitally native clinical model that adapts the Massachusetts Collaborative Care Model to telemedicine. The clinical protocols also include synchronous video-based telehealth visits, FDA-approved medications, urine drug screens, on-demand messaging, optional groups, care coordination services, and treatment for commonly co-occurring psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Ophelia Health makes a special commitment to make medication-assisted treatment more accessible to people with opioid use disorder covered by Medicaid. The release states that the Medicaid population often has higher rates of opioid addiction yet are overlooked.
“If we’re going to end this epidemic at scale, we need to bring part-time prescribers into the addiction workforce, and Ophelia’s platform makes this possible for the first time,” Dr. Adam Bisaga, Ophelia’s co-medical director and psychiatry professor at Columbia University, said in the release. “We provide hands-on training, mentorship, a care team to support their patient panel at all times, and custom software that clinicians love.”
The company treated its first patient in 2020 and has expanded to 27 states; established contracts with payers that cover 75 million loves across Medicare, Medicaid and commercial plans; and achieved 70% six-month retention and 60% 12-month retention in its programs.
Substance use disorder treatment providers, including medication-assisted treatment, have made up a major portion of mergers and acquisitions in 2021 so far as the M&A space in behavioral health continues to reach new highs following the onset of the pandemic.
As of April 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that about 100,000 Americans have died in the previous 12 months as a result of drug overdose: About 76,000 of those deaths come from opioid-related overdoses.