Bicycle Health, a startup that offers virtual treatment for opioid use disorder, raised a $5 million Series B extension from Cobalt Ventures.
WHAT THEY DO
Founded in 2017, Bicycle provides virtual care and medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. It offers Suboxone, a drug combination of buprenorphine and naloxone that can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and prevent cravings. Users can also access online support groups with other patients in recovery.
Bicycle has also been adding partnerships so far this year. In August, the company announced a collaboration with emergency telehealth provider Tele911 to connect patients to continuing care after an overdose or health crisis. Evernorth, insurer Cigna’s health services arm, is also partnering with the startup to include its virtual treatment in its behavioral health network. Cigna health plan customers who receive health coverage through their employer or marketplace exchange plans in 24 states will also have access to Bicycle’s program.
“From a lack of geographical access to high financial and social costs, in-person treatment is not designed for the majority of Americans. Over the past three years, Bicycle Health has proven that there is another way to treat addiction through our evidence-backed telehealth treatment model,” Ankit Gupta, Bicycle Health founder and CEO, said in a statement. “This additional funding from Cobalt Ventures will enable us to expand our treatment to even more patients across the country, and ultimately help more people live addiction-free lives.”
Opioids continue to be a serious public health concern in the U.S. According to the CDC, overdose deaths involving opioids increased from about 70,000 in 2020 to more than 80,000 last year. Overall, drug overdose deaths increased by nearly 15% in 2021.
However, a recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry found receiving opioid use disorder-related telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic was associated with lower odds of medically treated overdose and better retention with medications like methadone and buprenorphine.
Other digital health companies focused on addiction care include Boulder Care, which recently raised $36 million; Ophelia, which scooped up $50 million in Series B funding last year; Workit Health, which announced a $118 million raise nearly a year ago; and Quit Genius, which recently had two substance use disorder programs added to Evernorth’s digital health formulary.