Opioid Addiction Treatment Company Ophelia Closes $15 Million 

By Noah Long ● May 1, 2021
  • Ophelia — a healthcare tech company that is providing treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) — announced recently that it has raised $15 million in Series A funding. These are the details.

Ophelia — a healthcare tech company that is providing treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) — announced recently that it has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Menlo Ventures. And other investors include Y Combinator, General Catalyst, Refactor Capital, and the founders of Flatiron Health, Warby Parker, Harry’s, Allbirds, PillPack, Carbon Health, and Lambda School. The company had also announced the addition of Dr. Darshak Sanghavi as an advisor.

With this round of funding, Ophelia will continue to build and expand its services to patients across the U.S. And the company will also soon accept insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid to provide greater access to care for more patients in need.

Ophelia essentially offers an alternative to traditional rehab for the treatment of OUD. And through its telemedicine platform, Ophelia provides Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) – the “gold standard” treatment according to the U.S. government – in a way that is private, low-cost, and convenient for patients who otherwise have no way to access care. 

The MAT works through a combination of medication to stop opioid withdrawal and cravings along with support and therapy for patients when helpful. MAT increases survival rates by 600% and has similar adherence to treatment for other chronic disorders such as diabetes, depression, and high blood pressure.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, treatment options for OUD have severely dwindled. Even though opioid-related deaths have spiked nearly 30% in the last year, brick-and-mortar rehab facilities across the country have been forced to downsize or file for bankruptcy. Prior to Ophelia, these in-person rehab clinics were the only place where patients and clinicians could connect for treatment. And with less than 5% of U.S. clinicians licensed to prescribe MAT medication (buprenorphine), the need for access to treatment has never been greater.

Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, MD has been working with Ophelia in a leadership role for helping the company grow and expand its relationships with insurance providers. And he has a diverse range of leadership experiences at the highest levels of academic medicine, government and the nation’s largest commercial insurer and health services provider. Dr. Sanghavi has worked as Chief Medical Officer at UnitedHealthcare and OptumLabs, Director of Prevention and Population Health at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the Obama administration, and a leading researcher on substance use disorders.

KEY QUOTES:

“We’re extremely excited to take what we’ve built and expand it across the country. Today, 80% of Americans with Opioid Use Disorder don’t get medical treatment because of barriers related to stigma, cost, and work or family obligations that make going to rehab impossible. Instead, many find it easier to buy addiction medication on the street, even if it means spending a thousand dollars per month. With Ophelia, patients get safe and reliable access to lifesaving treatment that’s already covered by most insurance plans.”

— Zack Gray, Ophelia Co-founder and CEO

“Opioid abuse is the #1 cause of death for Americans under the age of 50, and the team at Ophelia has developed an integrated, telemedicine-enabled care model that both improves patient outcomes and dramatically improves patient access to the best available treatments. Ophelia is helping lead the way to better healthcare solutions in areas of critical need for deeply underserved populations. I’m thrilled to be partnering with them in their fight against the opioid epidemic.”

— Greg Yap, Partner at Menlo Ventures

“I’m honored to join Ophelia as an advisor. With opioid addiction and overdoses on the rise, it’s never been more important to provide effective, accessible care for patients who need help. Ophelia has found an innovative way to provide those patients with the treatment they need, without the high barriers to entry of rehab.”

— Dr. Darshak Sanghavi