Allscripts is buying ZappRx, a prescription drug start-up

Key Points
  • ZappRx is selling itself to Allscripts, a publicly-traded health IT company, according to sources familiar.
  • Allscripts is looking to diversify its business outside of electronic medical records.
  • ZappRx was founded by Zoe Barry, who started the company after her brother was diagnosed with epilepsy.
Zoe Barry, CEO and co-founder, ZappRx
Source: Zoe Barry

Medical software company Allscripts has bought ZappRx, a start-up that aimed to modernize how people access prescription medicines, say two people familiar with the deal, the company confirmed on Thursday.

ZappRx raised more than $40 million from investors ranging from GV, Alphabet's early-stage venture arm, and SR One, the corporate venture firm for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. Two people familiar with the deal declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, but said the price was less than the amount raised in venture capital.

In a statement, Allscripts said "Allscripts is excited to add ZappRx's platform to our growing portfolio. The specialty-prescribing space is a key focus area for Veradigm, our payer and life sciences business unit. While we cannot share the details of our agreement publicly, the addition of ZappRx's team and technology will augment our solution offerings and provide great value to our clients."

The buy-up of ZappRx follows Amazon's acquisition of PillPack, another start-up in the prescription drug space, an increasingly hot area for acquisitions.

Allscripts' core business is selling electronic medical record software to hospitals and other health providers, and it acquired PracticeFusion, another electronic medical records company, in January. With the new deal, it's looking to diversify beyond its core business.

ZappRx was founded in 2012 in Boston, Mass. Its CEO Zoe Barry previously worked on Wall Street, and started the company after her brother was diagnosed with severe epilepsy. ZappRx specializes in helping people access the class of so-called specialty medicines, which includes expensive and high-complex or high-cost interventions.

ZappRx did not immediately return requests for comment.

Barry, who's a race car driver in her spare time, recruited a team of engineers to build a cloud-based system that medical providers can use to speed up the time it takes for a patient to access a specialty medicine, after it's prescribed.

ZappRx had recently announced a slew of large customers and partners, including pharma company Bayer in 2019, and the research group CureDuchenne, in late 2018.

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