Funding will enable Ophelia to become a national provider, integrate with additional payors and partners, and grow its clinician support platform
NEW YORK, Dec. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ophelia, a digital provider of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD), today announced that it has raised a $50 million Series B investment led by Tiger Global. The round includes funding from Menlo Ventures, General Catalyst, Refactor Capital, 640 Oxford Ventures, Interplay Ventures, PillPack founder Elliot Cohen, and Good Friends, the fund launched by the founders of Warby Parker, Harry’s, and Allbirds. The funding will enable Ophelia to expand its treatment program to more patients and clinicians across the United States, integrate with additional payors and partners, and develop its clinician recruitment, training, and support platform.
Ophelia’s mission is to make evidence-based treatment for OUD universally accessible, with a special commitment to serving the Medicaid population, often overlooked despite its disproportionately high rate of OUD. While other addiction treatment providers rely on referrals from hospitals or primary care providers, Ophelia is taking a different approach, recruiting patients directly online and creating a platform to mobilize unutilized clinicians. This is critical to reaching “the invisible 80 percent” of Americans with OUD who are unengaged with the health care system until a dangerous complication occurs.
Ophelia provides MAT, the gold standard treatment for OUD, proven to reduce overdoses by 75 percent. At its core is buprenorphine (Suboxone), a medication used to treat withdrawal and cravings while also mitigating overdose risk.
“Anyone who wants to stop using opioids needs this medication, but most find it easier to get from drug dealers than doctors, even if it means spending a thousand dollars per month,” said Zack Gray, co-founder and CEO of Ophelia, who started the company after losing someone he loved to opioids. “If you can make treatment accessible and reach patients directly, they’ll happily choose professional care instead.”
A major barrier to expanding access to MAT in the U.S. has been a longstanding shortage of prescribers. In order to prescribe buprenorphine, clinicians need a separate license from the federal government called an x-waiver, which only 5 percent have. They are also restricted in the number of patients they can treat — often only 30 patients at a time. At such a low patient volume, they are not eligible for hire by most treatment programs, so many work in other settings where they do not treat any OUD patients.
To solve this problem, Ophelia has created a digitally native clinical model, called the Ophelia Care Model, which adapts the widely successful Massachusetts Collaborative Care Model to telemedicine. By combining team-based care with a robust clinician training program and collaborative clinical software, the Ophelia Care Model creates treatment opportunities for the 50,000+ licensed MAT clinicians who previously had no way of treating patients. Ophelia is led by industry-renowned addiction psychiatrists and researchers, who have collaborated with the UN and U.S. government agencies to develop OUD treatment protocols for decades.
“If we’re going to end this epidemic at scale, we need to bring part-time prescribers into the addiction workforce, and Ophelia’s platform makes this possible for the first time,” said Dr. Adam Bisaga, Ophelia’s co-medical director, who is also a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University and an NIH-funded research scientist. “We provide hands-on training, mentorship, a care team to support their patient panel at all times, and custom software that clinicians love.”
Ophelia’s clinical protocols are comprehensive and informed by the latest standards of care, including synchronous video-based telehealth visits, FDA-approved medications, urine drug screens, on-demand messaging, optional groups, care coordination services, and treatment for commonly co-occurring psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Ophelia treated its first patient in early 2020 and has since seen rapid adoption by both patients and clinicians. Today, it is licensed to provide care in 27 states and has national and regional insurance contracts covering 75 million lives, including bundled rates across Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial populations. Its outcomes are impressive, including 70% six-month retention, 60% 12-month retention, a patient NPS of 91, and a clinician NPS of 90. In addiction treatment, retention is considered the primary clinical outcome metric, with industry averages typically ranging around 30% at six months.
"Just weeks ago, the United States hit a record-breaking 100,000 overdose deaths in the span of 12 months, and the need for non-stigmatizing, evidence-based care for opioid use disorder has never been more clear. Ophelia is connecting people with affordable, life-saving care that transcends misinformation, privacy, convenience, and affordability barriers," said Jay Chen, Partner, Tiger Global. "We are excited to work with Ophelia to expand its reach and ensure that people with OUD have access to personalized, high-touch care that works."
Ophelia’s Series B investment follows a $15 million Series A round just seven months prior, bringing its total funding to $68 million to date.
Ophelia is a digital provider of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid use disorder (OUD), committed to making evidence-based treatment universally accessible. Its mission is to remove barriers for the 80% of Americans with OUD who are unable to access care and the 50,000+ MAT-licensed clinicians who are unable to treat patients due to a lack of infrastructure, training, and support. At its core is the Ophelia Care Model, a team-based clinical model and software platform developed by leading experts in addiction medicine and psychiatry.
Ophelia is licensed to provide care in 27 states and contracted with Medicaid, Medicare, and Commercial insurers covering 75 million American lives. Ophelia is led by the nation’s leading experts in addiction treatment and backed by Tiger Global, Menlo Ventures, General Catalyst, Y Combinator, and founders of companies such as Flatiron Health, Carbon Health, PillPack, and Warby Parker. For more information, visit www.ophelia.com.