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Astarte Earns $5M in Funding to Build Precision Medicine Tools for Preterm Babies


The tools could optimize nutrition and quantify gut health to decrease the length of stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.


Astarte Medical, a precision medicine company that uses software and predictive analytics to improve premature infant outcomes, this week announced a $5 million Series A funding round to complete its suite of digital tools and diagnostics.

The NICUtrition suite is being developed to support feeding protocols and improve practice and decision-making in the neonatal intensive care unit. The tools aim to optimize nutrition and quantify gut health.

The first module, NICUtrition Guidance, is a rules engine that incorporates a hospital’s feeding protocol to improve efficiency and compliance. The second module, NICUtrition Microbiome and Gut Inflamation (MAGI), uses the MAGI score to identify infants most at risk for inflammation associated with gut injury. MAGI allows teams to triage and implement care.

In a preterm infant, there is no way to measure gut growth, despite the fact that the gut is a central organ for feeding and the gateway to proper brain growth and function, said Tracy Warren, CEO of Astarte Medical.

According to the announcement, the products provide actionable information to hospitals and clinical teams in real time. By getting the data right away, physicians and nurses can standardize care protocols and customize treatment plans.

“Our software integrates data from various sources within the (electronic health record), applies a proprietary algorithm and presents the data in a way that naturally fits into the (neonatal intensive care unit) workflow,” said Tammi Jantzen, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Astarte Medical.

Last year, there were approximately 64,500 preterm babies in the neonatal intensive care unit. It costs an estimated $6,000 per night to stay in the unit and on average, the babies are there for 46 days, totaling almost $281,000.

Warren and Jantzen believe that by having a customized plan, the babies could have a shorter stay in the unit.

“With its first solution, the company is poised to make a difference for not just the preterm babies, but also for clinical teams in (neonatal intensive care units) where it will help streamline the workflow and increase efficiencies,” said Bruce Lunsford, chairman and CEO of Lunsford Capital, an investor of the funding.

Other investors included Viking Global Investors LP, OCA Ventures, Keiretsu Forum MidAtlantic, Keiretsu Capital Fund, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Wing VC and Next Act Fund.

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