February 1, 2022 (Chicago, IL) — Synapticure, a teleneurology company providing personalized care for people living with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and their families, today announced its launch with $6 million in funding led by GV (formerly Google Ventures) with participation from LifeForce Capital, Martin Ventures, Byers Capital, and Y-Combinator, as well as leading angel investors. This round of funding closed in early fall, 2021. Synapticure provides a new telemedicine-centric model for ALS care built by and for those living with ALS, in collaboration with leading ALS clinics across the country, including Massachusetts General Hospital and University of California San Francisco. The company will use the new capital to rapidly scale its care platform to people living with ALS across the United States.
Synapticure is founded by Brian Wallach and Sandra Abrevaya, the co-founders of I AM ALS. As a person living with ALS and a caregiver, Brian and Sandra built Synapticure alongside leading ALS clinicians and biotechnology and telemedicine experts to transform access to care for patients. Synapticure is building a full-stack teleneurology platform that provides access and continuity of care to people living with ALS. This includes developing personalized care plans for each Synapticure patient through cutting edge testing, data analytics and consultations with ALS specialists at Synapticure and collaborating ALS clinics. Synapticure aims to improve care for all people living with ALS by applying the new technology and scientific breakthroughs of the last few years.
“When I was diagnosed with ALS in 2017 almost every person diagnosed heard the same thing: ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t help you.’ This is still true today and it is long overdue for that mentality to change,” said Brian Wallach, Co-Founder and Board Co-Chair of Synapticure. “If you ask 100 patients about the ALS care system today, nearly all will say the hallmarks of the current ALS care system are confusion, fragmentation and resignation. As a result, people living with ALS end up having to fight both the disease and the system that is supposed to help them. We can and must do better. That is why we are launching Synapticure.”
“Today, the bench science and understanding of ALS has far outpaced the clinical care provided to ALS patients,” said Sandra Abrevaya, Co-Founder and CEO of Synapticure. “We now know that ALS is a heterogenous disease with multiple genetic subtypes and molecular pathways, and this has led to an explosion of biopharma interest in ALS. It’s time to leverage those scientific advances alongside the expanded opportunities telemedicine now affords us to give all people living with ALS access to the care and support they deserve.”
“Brian Wallach and Sandra Abrevaya are remarkable people who have a consistent track record of deeply meaningful impact in the ALS community,” said Krishna Yeshwant, Managing Partner at GV. “Synapticure offers best-in-class services for better patient outcomes, and the founding team is uniquely positioned to solve the unmet need for better ALS treatment and care. We believe healthcare will increasingly offer specialized services for patients suffering from rare diseases, and we’re thrilled to partner with Sandra, Brian, and the entire Synapticure team.”
"Working with Synapticure has saved time for our physicians and staff, allowing us to focus on providing frontline ALS care for our patients,” said Catherine Lomen-Hoerth, MD, PhD, professor of neurology in the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences and director of the ALS Center at UCSF Medical Center. “They take on the task of organizing medical records and making sure they are complete, advocate for patients, and help patients navigate potential clinical trials based on their testing results. They also provide genetic counseling to patients before and after their tests, and offer explanations when patients have a variant of undetermined significance. By raising awareness of the importance of a certified ALS center and providing a smooth path for physicians to refer their patients, this partnership has also allowed us to see more patients from underserved areas."
“The field of ALS research has accelerated rapidly over the last decade,” says James Berry, MD, chief of the Division of ALS and Motor Neuron Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. “But ALS patients still often struggle with access to specialists, diagnostics, and a personalized approach to their care. Tools like telemedicine can bridge the gap and help deliver high quality care to all those living with ALS.”
Synapticure has assembled a strong team of investors, founding team members, and advisors to accelerate its efforts to fundamentally change the trajectory of ALS care. Additional individual investors include David Hodgson (General Atlantic), Ron Conway (SV Angel), Joe Kraus (Lime), Jeff Huber (GRAIL), Adam Koppel (Bain Capital), Gerald E. “Gary” Bisbee (Cerner), Rohan Seth (Clubhouse), and Ben and Divya Silbermann (Pinterest/Tambourine).
Synapticure’s team, board of directors and advisory board includes:
Synapticure is dedicated to creating the future of neurodegenerative disease patient care. Today, Synapticure is focused on providing better treatment and care for all people living with ALS through a full-stack teleneurology platform, built by and for those living with ALS. Co-founded by Brian Wallach, Sandra Abrevaya, Peter Wallach, Jason Langheier and Jonathan Hirsch, Synapticure is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. To learn more, please visit synapticure.com or follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram for updates.
ALS is 100% fatal and affects more than 30,000 people in the U.S. The lifetime risk of developing ALS is 1 in 300, the same as Multiple Sclerosis. Each year, more than five thousand people are diagnosed with ALS in the US alone. This number is expected to nearly double by 2060. People living with ALS, on average, live two to five years after diagnosis, and nearly half live more than 50 miles away from the closest ALS multidisciplinary clinic.
About Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes nerve cells (or neurons) in the area of the brain that controls movement to weaken and/or die. More than 10 million people worldwide are currently living with Parkinson's disease. The number of people diagnosed with with Parkinson’s Disease is expected to rise from 900,000 to 1.2 million by 2030. What causes Parkinson's remains largely unknown. Genetics cause about 10 to 15 percent of all Parkinson's. The other 85 to 90 percent of cases are classified as sporadic (or occasional). Although there is no cure, treatment options vary and include medications and surgery.