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Digital digestive health therapeutic Cara Care lands $7M investment, appoints James “Jim” Mapes CEO

● The rapidly expanding Berlin-based company attracted international food and nutrition manufacturer Dr. Schär AG as a new investor in an equity financing round, bringing its total raised to $16M. Current investors Sabadell Asabys and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. also participated
● Cara Care (HiDoc Technologies GmbH) has also appointed healthcare leader James “Jim” Mapes as new CEO, joining founders, Jesaja Brinkmann and André Sommer on the executive leadership team
● Cara Care’s digital therapy for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) was recently approved by the German federal health authority as the first reimbursable prescription digital therapeutic in the gastrointestinal space

Cara Care announced a $7M equity financing round today led by family-owned international food and nutrition manufacturer Dr. Schär AG, alongside existing investors Sabadell Asabys and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. The investment lays the foundation for the international growth of Cara Care’s digital gastrointestinal therapeutics.

Proceeds from this financing will be used to accelerate the commercialization of Cara Care’s IBS solution in Germany and the US, unlock expansion to France and other European markets, and broaden Cara Care’s portfolio of digital therapeutics within and beyond gastrointestinal health.

Dr. Schär’s industry-leading expertise in gluten-free and specialized nutrition opens up exciting opportunities to combine nutritional therapy and digital interventions.

The company has also announced the appointment of James “Jim” Mapes as new CEO. A highly experienced healthcare leader, Mapes will join founders Jesaja Brinkmann and Dr. Andre Sommer, and Chief Operating Officer Felix Köhler, in scaling the Cara Care platform, which currently includes three medical device-grade digital therapies for IBS, heartburn-related conditions, and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

“The Dr. Schär family has been working for 100 years to serve people with special dietary needs to live better lives,” says Dr. Philipp Schoeller, CEO of Dr. Schär AG. “In Cara Care, we have found a partner who can make this mission even more successful with the help of the most innovative technologies. We are extremely excited about working with the team and Jim Mapes as an excellent addition to the management.”

Mapes brings more than 30 years of global healthcare technology experience to Cara Care, including more than a decade in healthcare growth, population health operations, and technology services. He comes to Cara Care from Centauri Health Solutions, where he led the organization’s focused effort around Medicaid eligibility and Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), and the acquisition and integration of HCFS Inc.

Prior to Centauri, Mapes served as Senior Vice President for Corporate Growth, Payment Integrity, and Operations at Optum, UnitedHealth Group’s health services platform. He also worked in a variety of executive leadership roles for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Perot Systems Healthcare, AIG (American International Group), and Prudential Insurance Company of America.

“We are thrilled to have Jim at the helm of our team,” says Jesaja Brinkmann, managing director and co-founder of Cara Care.

“With Jim’s leadership and this new funding, Cara Care is now better positioned than ever before. We are working hard to improve care for millions of people with gastroenterological diseases who have fallen completely through the cracks of our healthcare systems” says Dr. André Sommer, managing director and co-founder of Cara Care, and a medical doctor.

“Cara Care is excited to be adding a high-caliber CEO with diverse and dedicated servant leadership skills to our Board of Directors,” says Bradley Fluegel, Cara Care’s Chairman of the Board, healthcare industry advisor, and former Walgreens executive. “Jim’s extensive background and experience creates the leadership perspective needed for our teams to broaden our digital footprint, focus on quality, and scale in this new market.”

Cara Care was recently approved by the German Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices as a prescribable digital therapeutic application (DiGA). Under the Digital Healthcare Act (DVG), all statutory health insurance companies assume the costs of DiGAs without additional payment from the patient: a model for integrating digital healthcare that many countries are watching closely. Cara Care also recently completed the rigorous ISO 27001 certification, a critical step in its secure data management and information security risk management efforts.

 

About HiDoc Technologies GmbH

With Cara Care for IBS, the Berlin digital health startup HiDoc Technologies GmbH developed the first digital health application for IBS that can be prescribed by doctors, meeting the highest safety standards. The official approval as a “DiGA” from the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) means that, from January 2022, the Cara Care for IBS app can be reimbursed by all statutory health insurances as part of the Digital Healthcare Act (DVG).

Cara Care for IBS was developed by physicians, and it continues to be managed by a team of medical experts, including nutritionists, psychologists, and other specialists. Cara Care has also developed medical devices for heartburn-related conditions and chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) on the market. Further therapeutic areas are currently being developed.

Cara Care for IBS combines the most innovative research knowledge on gastrointestinal health from clinical practice with behavioral design approaches: personalized, motivating, and always available via smartphone. The app analyses individual symptoms to provide tailored therapy aimed at improving quality of life. Study data show that 73 percent of users experience a clinically relevant improvement of symptoms. Concomitant symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, can also be reduced.

Cara Care for IBS is already certified in Europe as a Class 1 CE-marked medical device for the treatment of irritable bowel and ISO 27001 certified. The company headquarters of HiDoc GmbH is in Berlin, and the company currently employs 32 people.

Cara Care for IBS is available in the Google Play Store for Android and Apple App Store for iOS. The homepage provides more information on the prescription process and a suitability test for potential patients.

Further information on Cara Care for IBS can be found at: https://cara.care/

 

About Dr. Schär

Our story began in 1922 in South Tyrol, the heart of the Alps, with a vision to improve the lives of people with special nutritional needs. Ever since the company was founded, proximity to the consumer has been our guiding commitment. Our core competence combines the specific, complex requirements placed on nutrition with dedication and joie de vivre. Responsibility, progress and proximity are the values that give us our stability and reliability. We are a family-run company with a global reach, with 18 sites in 11 countries and more than 1,500 employees worldwide. Our products are available in over 100 countries. https://www.drschaer.com/

 

About Asabys Partners

Asabys Partners is a venture capital management company specialised in the healthcare sector, founded by Josep Ll. Sanfeliu and Clara Campàs and participated by Alantra. With €120 Million in assets under management, Asabys invests in biopharma and healthtech companies that have highly innovative and disruptive technologies covering unmet medical needs. Asabys has invested in Cara Care through its first investment vehicle, Sabadell Asabys Health Innovation Investments SCR, SA, which was launched in 2019 and is backed by Banc Sabadell as reference investor. The fund’s investment in the company benefits from the financial backing of the European Union under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (“EFSI”) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implement productive investments in the European Union and to ensure increased access to financing. https://asabys.com/.

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