Decentralized clinical trial companies Curebase raised $40 million in a Series B round led by Industry Ventures.
Acrew Capital, World Innovation Lab, Positive Sum, Gaingels, GGV Capital, Bold Capital and Xfund participated in the funding, which also included a strategic investment from pharma giant Gilead Sciences. The round brings Curebase’s total raise to $59 million.
WHAT IT DOES
Curebase offers software and operations support for managing decentralized clinical trials. That includes an app for patients so they can find and enroll in trials, sign consent forms, access telemedicine and schedule home visits. The company also offers a site-facing platform to assist with recruitment, prescreening potential participants and managing their clinical trials.
Outside of software, Curebase staffers like principal investigators, research coordinators and project managers can help execute clinical trials by finding potential sites, training and setting up software, and recruiting and retaining patients.
“Your traditional clinical trial takes place at a big hospital, it’s limited to on-site participation. And that can lead to slow recruitment of patients, loss of diversity and a less satisfying patient experience, which ultimately brings drugs and devices to market more slowly ,” Curebase founder and CEO Tom Lemberg told MobiHealthNews.
“So we take the trial to the patient. And our vision is really to enable any patient to be in a clinical trial, wherever they live, at home and with their own doctor in their own community.”
WHAT IT’S FOR
The startup plans to use the capital to invest in its platform, including by growing their design team to improve the user experience for patients. Curebase will also hire clinical services workers and expand its reach in Europe.
“We’re also positioning for more complex types of trials. And we’re really investing heavily in some of the things that our pharma and biotech customers are looking for,” Lemberg said.
“So we’re really investing in our electronic data capture systems, direct data capture systems, remote monitoring, remote risk-based monitoring, [and] data management, so that we can go beyond just that virtual experience and do enterprise-grade data management for those more complex pharmaceutical and biotech studies.”
The market for decentralized clinical trial technology grew during the COVID-19 pandemic, as telehealth and virtual care expanded. Other companies in the space include THREAD, which earlier this month announced it had acquired trial recruitment platform CureClick; Reify Health, which recently raised $220 million in Series D funding; and Medable, which landed more than $300 million in October last year.
“I think that before COVID there was already a goal to do what we wanted to do. The idea that clinical trials should be more patient-centric, they should reach patients at home in their communities, they should be faster, they should be more diverse, and that should be done via technology. I think that’s existed for a long time,” Lemberg said.
“But of course, there’s risk aversion, and it makes it hard to implement those things. I think COVID really changed that by making it worth taking that chance.”