Irene Schlosser: An ambitious (young) lady in a market worth 60 billion dollars
Irene Schlosser's Dyania Health is coming to put the anarchic health sector in "order"
The case of Irene Schlosser, CEO of Dyania Health, can also be described as unique, in the sense that coming from a family with a historical tradition in medicine, but nevertheless fascinated by mathematics, she found herself working in the Morgan Stanley and especially in the field of Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), until through it… got to know technology and since then she has followed knowledge and instinct in 6 countries and 10 cities “chasing” the unattainable, in the sense of ensuring access to innovative medicines for non-have patients.
Dyania Health was founded four years ago, when Irene and her colleagues found a significant problem and at the same time an opportunity in the field of clinical studies.
In particular, patients who face serious diseases, such as oncology, but also self-immune diseases, often-densely look for alternative treatments to the corresponding ones approved, when the latter do not have the desired results.
‘Alternative routes take the form of experimental or study medicinal products, accompanied by a series of complex criteria which the person concerned must meet in order to participate in these studies. It goes without saying that the human factor is unable to study with an increased degree of attention, let alone evaluate it and not in an extremely short time. As a result, a bottleneck was born, which led to inactivity along the entire chain of parties directly involved (e.g. patients, medical staff, nursing centers, pharmaceutical companies). And we are talking about extremely burdened cases of patients, where time and accuracy play an important role in their successful management and evolution. In good time, therefore, we established this situation and chose to engage actively in their search for a tangible, as well as functional solution, which in turn would contribute to the smooth development of the health value chain. We thought about developing an algorithm that would undertake the “reading” of the entire patient history, with automatic identification of specific clinical data, giving the patient the required access, when he needs it”, she emphasized characteristically.
The Startup course-“dowry” in 6 countries and 10 cities
Irene Schlosser grew up in the USA, in a family of Greek-American doctors, with her starting to study Biochemistry at the University, but she soon discovered that she was not satisfied and in connection with her love for mathematics and from a “turn” of fortune she found herself studying finance, working in a large investment bank in the USA, before ending up in the field of M&As (Mergers & Acquisitions) of Morgan Stanley. As she claims, the latter was an important “school”, as she had the opportunity to be initiated into the innermost of the mechanisms of mergers and acquisitions in the modern business world.
“At some point I came to examine cases involving technology companies, as a result of which a completely new, “bright” chapter in my professional life opened, which was none other than technology. I literally loved it, to the point of writing code myself, attending an educational program at the famous MIT, abandoning my career in Morgan Stanley and finally founding my first Startup, in 2014. Then, the need arose, but also an opportunity to seek funding in the USA, I traveled to California and found myself living there for six years!”, noted Mrs. Schlosser.
The return to her parents’ homeland took place on the occasion of the search for competent staff at the level of engineers and doctors, and evolved into the establishment of a subsidiary of Dyania Health in Greece. The latter was the 6th country in a row, with Athens rising to the 10th city where Irene Schlosser is called to live in her life as a whole. Something that has allowed her to gain a much broader look at both the world and business.After all, as she points out, the search for business opportunities has always served as a catalyst, as well as a guide for its course to date.
The… legacy of Natural Language Processing
A course that was largely determined by her first Startup attempt, as it also functioned as a workshop through which the problems that usually arise in the business efforts of the ecosystem were revealed, while she was called upon to face a series of issues and challenges, in an extremely effective way, in a short time and with limited -usually- resources.
“I may have been called upon to manage deals in Stanley Morgan, the total value of which was 60 billion dollars, but that wasn’t comparable to creating and running my own Startup. Also, a dedicated team and our productive involvement with innovative technologies, such as Natural Language Processing, which was the basis for the development of our next Ventures, remained as a “golden” legacy”, Mrs Schlosser pointed out.
The “anteroom” of partners in the midst of a crisis
As she has traveled to several countries and lived in even more cities, she believes that each and every one of them is distinguished by specific characteristics, virtues and advantages in terms of supporting and cultivating Startup businesses and ecosystems in general.
“Of course, there have always been specific constants, such as the fact that I supported the groups I created in scientific personnel coming from Greece, as they were always distinguished by a high level of knowledge, intense flexibility in overcoming difficulties, uniquely creative thinking and indisputable effectiveness. In forging relationships of trust with these executives and the scientific staff we were looking for, it was important for us to operate a Non-Governmental Organization during the economic crisis in our country, which took care of the provision of scholarships to Greek students, education programs, student exchange programs always with US universities, mentorship, and so on. As a result, we had first-hand knowledge of the extremely capable as well as talented staff, e.g. engineers, who were the required “yeast” in a series of ventures. In terms of funding, no country manages to surpass the US, while in terms of customers in the wider health sector, the USA and England are leading the relevant developments.
The first funding of 6 million dollars is to be made available to the Member States and the current one of 2 – 3 million dollars
Data, which Dyania Health had the opportunity to learn from the inside, as it is close to raising funding totaling 6 million dollars primarily from the two aforementioned countries, but also from Greece, through Genesis Ventures, but also from Dimitris Tryfon of T-Life.
After the two-year turmoil caused in the international arena due to the pandemic crisis, today, Dyania Health, like the other Startups that are active on the front line and especially in areas of tension, such as the treatment of cancer, are facing significant challenges, the need to double their staffing (compared to the 17 it currently employs in the USA, Greece and India) in order to respond to the amount of work that resulted from the cessation – essentially – of individual laboratory measurements and clinical trials during the coronavirus, and this without the complementary business environment being at its best. “Although this is a market whose value is around 60 billion dollars,” according to the founder of Dyania Health.
Irene Schlosser is trying to leverage this dynamic to further strengthen her company by “running” an expanded funding round of an amount that will be between 2 million dollars and 3 million dollars, led by investors from Boston.With the funds raised, Dyania Health will attempt to strengthen its team of partners, penetrating other markets, e.g. Australia. In fact, Ms. Schlosser believes that in the next three years it will have carried out a Series A funding process. Gradually, her desire is to carry out research and development in individual data departments in the patients of the clinical studies, in order to find ways to “unlock” the process of early finding evidence of important diseases, such as pancreatic cancer or the emergence of biomarkers that will demonstrate which patients react best to an “x” type of drugs and why.
“The above concerns primarily or exclusively foreign markets, where the data may be scattered or unstructured, but it is digital, in contrast to what happens in our country, where the data is in … paper form still…”, noted Irene Schlosser with a touch of bitterness, adding, however, that she has confidence in the actions she is “running” and the progress achieved through the digitization of procedures and services of outdated parts of the public sphere, which is being implemented with impressive success by the Minister of Digital Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis.