Nancy Yu

Co-Founder & CEO, RDMD

RDMD is a healthcare technology company dedicated to accelerating treatments for patients with rare diseases. RDMD has developed a technology platform that generates deep data insights to accelerate rare disease research and drug development, as well as a patient application that empowers patients and families to get access to and benefit from their own medical data. RDMD was founded in 2017 by technology developer Onno Faber, following his diagnosis and journey with the rare disease neurofibromatosis type 2. The company is backed by Lux Capital, Village Global, First Round’s Healthcare Co-Op, Garuda, Shasta Ventures and a number of angel investors.


TRNDS Speaker Spotlight: Nancy Yu

Meet TRNDS speaker Nancy Yu, Co-Founder and CEO of RDMD. RDMD’s mission is to empower patients and communities to accelerate the development of treatments for rare diseases of all kinds.

Why are you participating in TRNDS 2019?

Yu: RDMD tackles a number of rare neurological programs across our platform and we welcomed the opportunity to speak at TRNDS. We believe that cross-collaborative conferences where patients, biopharma, regulators, and researchers come together are the most exciting and informative gatherings. There is a deep need to better understand and characterize rare neurological conditions, based on Real World Data, and TRNDS has set up an impressive lineup for such discussion.

What are biggest opportunities for accelerating therapeutic development in the 21st century?

Yu: In rare disease, there is a huge opportunity to involve patients and patient communities in the early trial design process as companies define their study protocols and regulatory pathways. Industry is leveraging Real World Evidence earlier and earlier in their development cycle in order to better understand disease natural history, patient cohorts, and real world outcomes. The best way to tackle the long tail of rare conditions is to meaningfully engage with patients and regulators as early as possible in the trial design process.

How is the increasing use of modern technologies changing the field of clinical research?

Yu: Clinical research is becoming increasingly distributed, enabled by ever-advancing modern technologies. The lowered cost and broadened reach of these studies will pave the way for more cost-effective, robust, and inclusive clinical trials. With biosensors, remote data capture, patient reported outcomes, in-home sample kits, and digitized medical records, patients can participate in clinical trials from home and from local sites, without traveling thousands of miles across the country.

Share with us some of the most exciting developments in your organization.

Yu: We are working with a number of patient foundations and industry partners to generate data on natural history and clinical outcomes for use in regulatory submissions and settings. We recently met with the FDA in Silver Spring to discuss our approach and took away a lot of learnings and feedback.

What is a critical topic you’d like to see discussed at TRNDS 2019?

Yu: I’d love to learn more about remote assessments and visits and how telemedicine can be used in the context of clinical research.

Yu: As genetic sequencing costs continue to decline and policy incentives for rare conditions endure, a wave of scientific technologies and platforms will emerge. However, science and funding will not be the bottleneck in rare disease; rather, the biggest challenges will lie in characterizing disease and paving the paths in regulatory, community formation, and trial design. How can we enable regulators, communities, and researchers to work together cohesively in a way that aligns the interests of all stakeholders?