Investor group backs oncology support app developed by German health company Fosanis. The capital raised is intended to drive Mika’s international expansion beyond its core German market
German health company Fosanis has raised €10m from investors for its app-based oncology support platform Mika. The move reflects growing support for the digital therapeutics (DTx) sector among impact investors.
Swiss firm Debiopharm Innovation Fund (DIF) led the investor group, which also included Spain’s Ship2B Ventures, venture capital firm Equity Pitcher and existing shareholders, including Ananda Impact Ventures.
The Mika platform provides “personalised and comprehensive cancer therapy support, combining the latest insights in cancer research with 24/7 hands-on help wrapped up in an easy-to-handle and engaging digital tool”, according to Jan Simon Raue, the platform co-founder and managing director.
The platform combines AI-powered monitoring tools to track distress and symptoms, with a coaching section containing articles, videos and courses to provide people with tailored information and emotional support.
Pilot studies involving cancer patients using the Mika app report reductions in fatigue levels and psychological stress, according to the company.
DTx apps are distinct from the longer-established diagnostics and tele-health tools sector in that they are software-driven, evidence-based platforms that aim to actively prevent, manage, or treat a medical disease or disorder.
The capital raised from the investment is intended to support Mika’s international expansion beyond its core German market. Fosanis has been able to take advantage of Germany’s encouraging regulatory framework for the development of DTx products and hopes to lead the way as DTx is adopted more widely in Europe and elsewhere.
Tanja Dowe, CEO of DIF, told Impact Investor that her company has invested in digital oncology tools previously, but those had been focused more on areas such as monitoring side effects and helping to deal with them.
“Mika has a larger emphasis on the on ‘psycho-oncology’ – helping patients to deal with the strain placed on their mental health when they get cancer,” she said.
The app can also be downloaded directly by cancer patients independently of those involved in their care. “Mika goes straight to the patient. So if you are a patient with a specific cancer type, you can check on patient-reported outcomes, access independent advice and find out how to seek further help. It can be recommended by clinics as part of their own patient follow up, but you can also use it as a standalone app,” Dowe said.
Maite Fibla, co-founder and managing partner of co-investor Ship2B, said Mika provided an innovative proposal that met the Spanish firm’s parameters for “what an impact start-up should be”.
“We are proud to contribute to the internationalisation of Mika, which means being able to improve the quality of life of many more cancer patients,” she said.