Tucson startup Sinfonía acquires UA drug-management program

2013-11-20T14:52:00Z 2013-11-20T18:10:09Z Tucson startup Sinfonía acquires UA drug-management programBy David Wichner Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 20, 2013 2:52 pm  • 

A medication management software and business model developed by University of Arizona faculty and researchers has been acquired by SinfoníaRx, a new division of Tucson startup Sinfonía HealthCare Corp.

The announcement was made Wednesday by the UA’s Tech Launch Arizona, which is the university’s technology commercialization arm.

Sinfonía HealthCare was launched in February by Fletcher McCusker and Michael Deitch, the founders of Providence Service Corp.

The medication-management program, known as the Medication Management Center, was developed by employees of the UA College of Pharmacy. The program delivers services to patients nationwide and includes direct pharmacist interactions with patients, their health-care providers and community pharmacists.

According to the UA, the program’s software system evaluates millions of prescriptions and medical claims annually to identify opportunities to reduce the risk of adverse events and drug interactions, improve regular medication use and look for opportunities to cut the cost of medication.

Under a licensing agreement expected to close in December, SinfoníaRx will assume the program’s current contracts, employees and software system. The College of Pharmacy will continue to provide clinical pharmacist support for Sinfonía’s medication management service. All of the 15 original employees of SinfoníaRX will be housed downtown, the company said.

Kevin Boesen, an assistant UA pharmacy professor and the program’s founder, was named CEO of SinfoníaRx.

“By combining the prevention of medication errors — a $200 billion problem in the U.S. — with our home-health business model, we believe Sinfonía HealthCare Corp. and SinfoníaRx will emerge as major forces transforming health-care systems,” Sinfonía CEO McCusker said in prepared remarks.

Prior to the UA deal, Sinfonía HealthCare acquired four local home-health-care firms offering skilled nursing, hospice care, occupational and physical therapy and medical equipment.

J. Lyle Bootman, dean of the UA College of Pharmacy, said the center has served more than 2.5 million patients, and by the end of this year it will be the nation’s largest provider of medication therapy management services.

The UA’s Medication Management Center is a “real-world demonstration of how using the right drug in the right dose at the right times can both improve the quality of care and lower costs,” Bootman said.

Tech Launch Arizona was established a little more than a year ago by UA President Ann Weaver Hart and is headed by vice president David Allen. Its mission is to transform UA research discoveries into intellectual property, leading to patents, licenses and commercial products.

Contact Assistant Business Editor David Wichner at dwichner@azstarnet.com or 573-4181.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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