Optum Frontier Therapies Launched to Focus on Cell and Gene Therapy

In November of 2020 Optum introduced Optum Frontier Therapies, a new pharmacy services business with a mission to support people with compassion, while creating access to therapies at the frontier of health care—including rare disease drugs, gene and other advanced therapies, and digital therapeutics.

Earlier in 2020, EnvoyHealth joined the Optum family through the acquisition of Diplomat, Inc. Beginning in December 2020 EnvoyHealth became part of Optum Frontier Therapies. Envoy’s expertise in managing custom pharmacy models for digital therapeutics, operating noncommercial pharmacy programs, and distributing specialty drugs will amplify the capabilities of Optum Frontier Therapies.

Optum Frontier Therapies will work across the drug supply chain to allow smoother, more transparent collaboration between patients and caregivers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, providers, payers and plan sponsors. The company develops and sustains best practices in specific therapies or disease states through three centers of excellence programs:

  • Cell and gene therapy
  • Rare disease
  • Digital therapeutics

The Optum Frontier Therapies Centers of Excellence (COEs) consist of dedicated teams focused on cell and gene therapy, rare disease drugs and digital therapeutics. Optum’s teams will tap extensive capabilities — tailored to the needs of a specific therapy or disease state — and provide concierge patient-centric service. Multiple stakeholders stand to gain value from this new model:

  • Patients and caregivers benefit by accessing new, potentially life-transforming treatments along with personalized, disease- and therapy-specific care plans that help remove burdens and set them up for success.
  • Pharma manufacturers benefit when Optum distributes and dispenses innovative therapies through white-glove logistics, dedicated custom clinical services, and tailored patient and digital engagement strategies, including longitudinal outcome monitoring.
  • Providers benefit when Optum partners with them to reduce the ambiguity in managing a new complex therapy and help to ensure that the right patients get access to the therapies that could transform their lives for the better.
  • Payers and plan sponsors benefit from strong partnership in complex care management. Also valuable is Optum’s outcome-tracking support for value-based models that provide patients the access and support they need while helping to reduce the financial risk of emerging therapies.


Takeaway: Optum Frontier Therapies builds on EnvoyHealth’s fundamental hub services with emerging digital-health capabilities to build patient-focused solutions for manufacturers and healthcare tech companies