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Allermi Secures $3.5M for Nasal Spray; CEO Touts Benefits of Customized Allergy Relief

Allermi Secures $3.5M for Nasal Spray; CEO Touts Benefits of Customized Allergy Relief

Allermi nasal spray
Allermi CEO and co-founder Shani Bocian believes one-size-fits-all medications don’t offer the level of personalized relief that chronic allergy sufferers require

Allermi, a direct-to-consumer telehealth service that offers a personalized approach to allergy relief, closed a $3.5 million seed funding round to support its mission of providing a customized nasal spray solution. 

Dr. Robert Bocian, an allergist for over 30 years and an associate professor of allergy-immunology at Stanford, co-founded the allergy-focused telehealth service. He is also the creator of Bocian’s Potions, a tailored approach to allergies available through the telehealth service. The ‘potion’ combines and adjusts the doses of multiple medications into a single nasal spray bottle designed to address specific allergy symptoms. 

The California-based telehealth platform, launched last summer with a $1.25 million pre-seed round led by Lucas Venture Group and has since expanded, available now in 27 states.  

According to Allermi, the recent seed funding will help the company continue its national expansion and build and scale its business, product operations and marketing channels to meet growing demand — which is just as high as the pollen count these days.

If your allergies seem to be worse than ever, it’s not all in your head (or nose), according to Allermi CEO and co-founder Shani Bocian, the daughter of Dr. Bocian.

“We are seeing a tremendous increase in rhinitis symptoms, due to increased pollen count, increased air pollution, lingering post-COVID viral rhinitis, a higher inflammatory state in the general population and increased sensitization to allergic triggers,” Bocian tells Athletech News. “Rhinitis is now a leading chronic disease, with more sufferers than ever before in history.”

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, over 100 million people in the United States suffer from allergies each year, ranking the condition as the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the country. 

Allermi points out that while there are abundant over-the-counter allergy treatments, with consumers spending billions of dollars a year to find a remedy, nearly 70% of allergy sufferers are dissatisfied with available allergy medications. In contrast, Allermi says its telehealth platform provides a customized solution, with over 90% of patients reporting superior relief.

As Bocian explains, one-size-fits-all allergy medications don’t offer the level of personalized relief that chronic allergy sufferers require. 

“Rhinitis symptoms vary from person to person and the severity spectrum is wide, and there is no one medication that addresses all symptoms in one bottle except for Allermi,” Bocian said. “But furthermore, we take an in-depth look at the combination of symptoms, severity, duration and medical history to create a formula that is optimized for that specific rhinitis patient.”

Allermi patients complete an online intake questionnaire, which a physician reviews within 24 hours. Patients receive a personalized allergy treatment plan from Allermi and are prescribed a customized nasal spray if approved for treatment. The spray contains up to four active ingredients combined and is dosed based on symptoms and severity. 

The nasal spray is delivered by mail monthly or on-demand within 3-5 days, and Allermi also offers a care team that patients can contact for ongoing support.

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The ease of telehealth is also a benefit, as many consumers commonly find their local allergist booked solid with appointments. In addition to waiting weeks or even months to be seen in person, repeated visits are often needed to manage a complex case of rhinitis, Bocian points out.

There is also a shortage of allergists, with only 3,500 in the country, most of them located in coastal cities,” Bocian said. “Because of this, the vast majority of rhinitis sufferers are not seen by an allergist for their symptoms and are left to self-treat by selecting products at the drugstore.”

Even if a patient can get an appointment, Bocian says they’re limited regarding treatment plans.

“Even if one is able to get in to see an allergist, that allergist can only make recommendations for several fixed-dose nasal sprays,” Bocian said. “This is not only cumbersome, inconvenient and costly to the patient, but is also physiologically less effective given that the nose can only absorb so much liquid at a time. It’s been shown that the multiple-nasal spray approach is very challenging for patients to adhere to, so by combining the right medications at the right dosages all into one bottle, we not only increase adherence and convenience, but allow medication to be more efficiently absorbed.”

Nelstone Ventures led Allermi’s funding round, having previously funded Apostrophe, a skincare telehealth service that was bought by Hims & Hers in a nine-figure deal.

FourSight Capital Partners also joined Allermi’s recent funding round.

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