Clinical Trials

Galmed Pharmaceuticals forms a Strategic Partnership with OnKai

Galmed Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (GLMD) reported today the execution of a definitive agreement for a $3M equity investment in OnKai Inc., leading an investment round of $6M. The agreement provides Galmed with a minority, but a strategic stake in Onkai. Concurrently, a strategic partnership agreement is being signed to advance both companies by leveraging their complementary knowledge and experience in their respective fields.

OnKai, a US-based technology company, combines public healthcare and medical innovation experience with complex process digitalization, design thinking, and software development to create an AI-powered digital platform that facilitates health equity in underserved communities across the US.

The platform holds significant potential value for both the pharmaceutical and biotech industries by facilitating a new pool of potentially 80M underserved patients to participate in clinical trials.

At its core, the collaboration empowers local clinics and healthcare professionals serving underserved communities to make a substantial contribution to clinical studies. This enables pharmaceutical companies to fulfill their scientific and regulatory obligations, which necessitate access to a diverse and representative patient populace.

Galmed is strategically positioning itself for future clinical trials by leveraging OnKai’s cutting-edge platform. Through the platform, Galmed intends to overcome the growing challenges of competitiveness in patient recruitment, improving the planning and execution of its upcoming clinical trials, resulting in more efficient trials.

Through this partnership, the companies intend to facilitate faster clinical trial enrollment and provide patients with access to novel medications, such as orphan drugs, and opportunities to participate in otherwise inaccessible clinical trials as a therapeutic option.

Noam Smetana, CEO of OnKai, stated: “Galmed’s investment serves as a catalyst to prepare OnKai to service the pharma industry. We fully intend to leverage Galmed’s experience and knowledge to best serve clinical trials alongside the underserved population.” Mr. Smetana continued: “OnKai’s grid and relationships with local clinics in underserved communities enable access to the minority patients that are essential to clinical trials. We see this as a win for patients as we bring innovative research and potential therapies to people who do not have access while providing a better representation of these populations in the drug development process.”

Allen Baharaff, Co-founder, President, and CEO of Galmed noted: “The strategic collaboration with Onkai is intended to provide Galmed with a unique opportunity to take part in what we view as a much-needed disruptor in the industry and one which we believe can really make a difference.”

Allen Baharaff emphasized that “Over time, the vision with the OnKai technology is to be able to create a portfolio of trials with multiple partners and with the leverage of non-dilutive resources, while at the same time, creating a significant impact in underserved communities. The opening of OnKai’s platform to Galmed provides it with a tighter relationship with foundations and patient advocacy organizations. This is intended to play a key role in pursuing orphan indications combined with other sources of non-dilutive financing. It is exciting to join hands with a team that brings decades of experience in innovations, local clinics, healthcare professionals, charities, and pharma companies. We believe this type of integration is mandatory to improve the quality and efficiency of drug development and clinical trials.”

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