The venture arm of GlaxoSmithKline joined investors in ZappRx, a prescription app, in a second instance recently of big pharma putting cash into a mobile health firm.
ZappRx announced it had closed a $1 million round from backers led by current investor Atlas Venture but also including GSK-backed SR One.
The round follows $1 million invested by Atlas Venture in September 2013.
Another drugmaker Merck recently supported a funding round for Welldoc, another health app firm.
ZappRx’s platform automates the prescription management process. The firm will use the additional funds to build out their platform for specialised medicines, an area it is targeting because of its low-volume, high-value characteristics.
In 2012, the total cost for specialty pharmaceuticals was $80 billion in the US, a figure which is set to jump 67 per cent by 2015, said ZappRx.
Patients treated with specialty medicines are low in volume, accounting for less than one in 100 health insurance members, but drive a disproportionate share of total cost, making up more than 30 per cent of drug spend.
“Due to the complex challenges associated with ordering specialty medications, no automated system currently exists for patients who need it most,” said Zoe Barry (pictured), founder and CEO of ZappRx.