Strategic consulting firm DeciBio relies on the power of data to handle the increasing entry fees that companies need to compete in the precision medicine field dominated by organizations with deep pockets.
With four insights databases and two market platforms included in its offering, the Century City-based company sees data as the way to attract and retain startup clients from mid-to-large diagnostics and life sciences companies to pharmaceutical and digital health organizations.
“The idea over the past nine years has been to try to find ways to engage with as many key stakeholders in precision medicine (as possible) as possible,” said David Kavanaugh, Vice President of DeSibio. “We want to be at the heart of this multidimensional hub of precision medicine.”
The company’s insight databases include MarketBook and DxBooks.
MarketBook is a predictive data model that tracks, cuts, and predicts revenue for over 100 life science research tool companies, including ThermoFisher Laboratories and Bio-Rad.
DeciBio refers to the research instrument market as a market that produces instruments, reagents, and other technologies obtained as part of medical research, rather than instruments used for patients.
“The idea (with MarketBook) is to get this very accurate view of this market and do it in a comprehensive way, so that customers understand all the moving parts,” Kavanaugh said.
Meanwhile, the DxBooks database provides information on local laboratory testing behaviors in the areas of tumor biomarkers, infectious disease diagnosis, and Covid-19 testing.
DeciBio builds DxBooks with surveys of hospital labs to see what tests are being run and what tools are used to perform those tests. For example, tumor biomarker test information is derived from approximately 300 reference hospitals and laboratories annually across the United States.
The data produced enables customers who use DxBooks to better understand the evolving market share of medical devices.
These database services are offered to customers through subscription forms, the cost of which DeciBio has not disclosed. Other database services include I/O BioMap and TheraTrack.
“We know that our customers get frustrated when they work with other service providers as they end up educating (the service providers) in the market. For us, we have always had this deep understanding of market size, growth rates and market shares,” Kavanaugh said. “All of this information makes it very easy to really focus on why customers usually come to us, which is to solve a business problem.”
In cases of small businesses seeking to use DeciBio’s data or consulting services, DeciBio finds alternative ways to pay, according to Stefan Bodel, co-founder of the company.
“We are willing to share the risks that come with launching a product and essentially taking equity or debt as a form of payment for some of these small businesses, so that we can operate across the entire range of companies that make up that space,” Bodell said.
He added that DeciBio is finding ways to work with smaller companies either through the company’s venture capital arm or the data arm, where they can offer products at affordable prices. DeciBio launched venture capital and innovation firm DeciBio last December.
DeciBio Ventures focuses its investments on emerging companies in the markets for tools and treatments. In a press release, the venture capital firm said portfolio companies will be able to leverage DeciBio Analytics products, solutions and services to gain market-wide insights.
In July, DeciBio Ventures participated in a seed funding round for genetic medicine technology developer Replay that totaled $55 million. KKR & Co. led. and OMX Ventures’ round of financing.
Ahmed Enany, CEO of the Southern California Biomedical Council in Los Angeles, said that despite the abundance of active life sciences advisory firms, the interesting thing about DeciBio is its venture capital arm.
“It helps them attract clients who might be interested in utilizing their investment funds to get financing at an early stage,” Anani said. “This is an emerging trend among advisory firms that end up setting up investment arms to take advantage of excessive growth opportunities.”
At its core, Kavanaugh said, DeciBio focused on data and advisory services and that the investment arm was created out of the company’s interest in getting more involved with startups.
“It’s interesting because we ourselves are a strategy consulting firm, so it’s very important to know what you want to focus on,” Bodell said. “What do you want to do and not do? Finding the balance between that (is important).”
According to Cavanaugh, DeciBio is expanding its venture capital presence and is also in the process of raising funds with a partner to invest in startups.
Kavanaugh said that DeSibio, despite being a small company, has tried to emulate large companies that have dedicated teams of scientists to developing and maintaining data solutions.
He added that DeciBio’s data and platform solutions are important investments for the company.
“That means taking the money we make, for example, from the advisory side, and reinvesting that into data products that could take a year or two before you see them pay off and in revenue,” Kavanaugh said. “An example of that is the network of experts that we’re building, and we’ve been working on that for a number of years.”
The network Kavanaugh is referring to is called Dexter, and it’s a platform that allows clients to connect to the company’s network of life science advisors through interviews or surveys that produce insights designed to assess market appetite for a service or product or help launch a project.
Dexter follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model and has no set-up fees or annual contracts.
“We’re giving that to people on a very small scale,” Kavanaugh said. “Anyone can come in and say, ‘I want to talk to 10 of the world’s leading oncologists involved in early cancer detection, and we can help them do that. “
Kavanaugh said the network gives clients a choice between six-figure advisory projects or a much cheaper platform like Dexter to gain ideas.
The company also produces and sells market reports that can be purchased through individual user, site or global licenses. A single-user license to assess the tumor biomarker market costs the company a one-time fee of $5,300.