Former Axon health lead Mario Nacinovich has joined medical AI company AiCure as global head of communications and marketing.
AiCure is a medical data, analytics and artificial intelligence company. It uses AI algorithms to help companies conduct clinical trials by monitoring medication adherence through a mobile app and relaying that data to physicians.
The company also recently hired Rich Christie, previously Roche’s global head of development, science and innovation, as chief development officer. Nacinovich is reporting to Christie. Both positions are newly created.
“Both of us are looking to further refine [AiCure’s] goals and identify the next level of development,” Nacinovich said. “We both come hand-in-hand with a tremendous amount of commercial experience working with stakeholders in pharma and biotech. What needs to occur next is laying the groundwork for broader engagement within existing pivotal growth points. From a strategic standpoint, we’re looking at new areas to accelerate the commercial and R&D communities and address the unique needs of life science companies.”
The roles were created after rapid growth by AiCure, which was founded in 2010 with funding from the National Institutes of Health. Nacinovich did not disclose specific revenue numbers, but said that AiCure has increased revenue by 125% in the past year and expanded its client list by 55%.
The company is mostly active in clinical trials, but has also done work in population health. AiCure’s app uses AI-based computer vision to determine when a patient has taken their medication and sends that data to doctors through a physician platform.
“What the founders determined was that we needed a better solution for better adherence support,” Nacinovich said. “Given we have smartphone access and high rates of use of across [demographics], smartphone-based assistive tools was a great point of entry to break down current healthcare barriers. The app is natural, straightforward and makes adherence confirmation a low burden to the participant.”
Before his time at Roche, Christie was president and CEO of early stage pharma company Solaris Therapeutics. He has also worked in early stage research and in business development at Johnson & Johnson.
During that time, he was introduced to AiCure while working on a schizophrenia study, an area in which there are often issues with medication adherence.
“I was impressed by two things,” Christie said. “The application of AI directly to understand the patient experience, the place that the AI fits in into the system to direct understanding of the patient and how they’re taking medication and responding to it. [AiCure] was approaching a core issue in clinical development head on.”
Previously, Nacinovich was managing partner at Axon Communications, where he founded and led its healthcare practice. He spent nearly a decade in that role. Recently, Nacinovich was also a show host for ReachMD and an adjunct lecturer at Boston University. Earlier in his career, he worked at Merck, inVentiv Health and another firm he founded, Fission Communications.
His previous role at Axon will be taken over by director Evita Sanchez, who was also Nacinovich’s first intern, and VP Pete Rizzuto.