NEW YORK, April 22, 2021 (News) — Ophelia, a healthcare tech startup providing treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), announced that it has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Menlo Ventures. Other investors include Y Combinator, General Catalyst, Refactor Capital, and the founders of Flatiron Health, Warby Parker, Harry’s, Allbirds, PillPack, Carbon Health, and Lambda School. The company also announced the addition of Dr. Darshak Sanghavi as an advisor.
With this new funding, Ophelia will continue to build and expand its services to patients across the U.S. The company will also soon accept insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid, to provide greater access to care for more patients in need.
“We’re extremely excited to take what we’ve built and expand it across the country,” said Zack Gray, Ophelia Co-founder and CEO. “Today, 80% of Americans with Opioid Use Disorder don’t get medical treatment because of barriers related to stigma, cost, and work or family obligations that make going to rehab impossible. Instead, many find it easier to buy addiction medication on the street, even if it means spending a thousand dollars per month. With Ophelia, patients get safe and reliable access to lifesaving treatment that’s already covered by most insurance plans.”
Ophelia offers an alternative to traditional rehab for the treatment of OUD. Through its telemedicine platform, Ophelia provides Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) – the “gold standard” treatment according to the U.S. government – in a way that is private, low-cost, and convenient for patients who otherwise have no way to access care. MAT works through a combination of medication to stop opioid withdrawal and cravings, plus support and therapy for patients when helpful. MAT increases survival rates by 600% and has similar adherence to treatment for other chronic disorders such as diabetes, depression, and high blood pressure.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, treatment options for OUD have severely dwindled. Although opioid-related deaths have spiked nearly 30% in the last year, brick-and-mortar rehab facilities across the country have been forced to downsize or file for bankruptcy. Before Ophelia, these in-person rehab clinics were the only place where patients and clinicians could connect for treatment. And with fewer than 5% of U.S. clinicians licensed to prescribe MAT medication (buprenorphine), the need for access to treatment has never been greater.
“Opioid abuse is the #1 cause of death for Americans under the age of 50, and the team at Ophelia has developed an integrated, telemedicine-enabled care model that both improves patient outcomes and dramatically improves patient access to the best available treatments,” said Greg Yap, Partner at Menlo Ventures. “Ophelia is helping lead the way to better healthcare solutions in areas of critical need for deeply underserved populations. I’m thrilled to be partnering with them in their fight against the opioid epidemic.”
Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, MD has been working with Ophelia in a leadership role to help the company grow and expand its relationships with insurance providers. He has a diverse range of leadership experiences at the highest levels of academic medicine, government, and the nation’s largest commercial insurer and health services provider. Recently Chief Medical Officer at UnitedHealthcare and OptumLabs, Director of Prevention and Population Health at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the Obama administration, and a leading researcher on substance use disorders, Dr. Sanghavi brings a wealth of experience in clinical strategy, clinical affordability, and medical policy to Ophelia.
“I’m honored to join Ophelia as an advisor,” said Dr. Sanghavi. “With opioid addiction and overdoses on the rise, it’s never been more important to provide effective, accessible care for patients who need help. Ophelia has found an innovative way to provide those patients with the treatment they need, without the high barriers to entry of rehab.”
Patients who need care, as well as clinicians who already have their x-waiver, can learn if they are eligible to use Ophelia by going to www.ophelia.com.
About Ophelia:Ophelia is reinventing drug rehab by making evidence-based treatment private, affordable, and accessible via telemedicine. Our focus is Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), the #1 cause of death for Americans under 50. Ophelia’s technology platform reduces barriers for both patients and clinicians, targeting the 80% of Americans with OUD who do not go to rehab programs.
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