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SAN FRANCISCO — Syapse, among the highest profile companies in a wave of startups seeking to mine patient data stored in electronic medical records and other portals, last week laid off 18 of its San Francisco-based employees — a move the company attributes to a shift in focus toward data analytics and insights and away from its software business.

The layoffs — which primarily affected Syapse’s engineering division, along with its product management and operations teams — represented about 10% of its workforce. The realignment comes just weeks after the pharma giant Roche prematurely terminated a precision medicine deal with Syapse centered around oncology data.


The company continues to hire — 10 staffers have come on board this month, Syapse’s chief financial officer Fletcher Payne told STAT — but appears to be struggling to raise additional funding. Towards the end of last year, Syapse had been actively seeking to raise more venture funding, according to a person familiar with the matter. But no announcement has been made. Payne declined to comment on the status of any fundraising.

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  • I wonder much different this collaboration was versus what Roche already was doing with Flatiron (which they acquired). There seems to be a number of other startups like Picnic Health and Datavant trying to work with life science companies on RWD. I am interested to see what comes out of these collaborations.

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