Deals

Comprehend Systems raises $21M for clinical-trials data platform

Above: Comprehend's Rick Morrison and Jud Gardner

For device makers and drug companies, going through the process of clinical trials for new treatments is expensive and time consuming. But they have to do it to get FDA approval.

Part of the problem is a data problem. Biosciences companies need a virtual hub where all the clinical information lives, and where it can be accessed and collaborated on.

That’s what Comprehend Systems is building a clean, well-lighted place for clinical data.

Perhaps where Comprehend can make the biggest difference is providing enough data to drug and device makers to allow them to iterate during clinical trials, or cut trials short if the data shows the trial is headed for a failure. In the old system, Comprehend Systems CEO Rick Morrison explains, it could take up to a month to get a report on the progress of a trial after it had started.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based company has just raised another $21 million in venture funding. The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with support from existing investor Sequoia Capital.

Comprehend took a $8.4 round of seed funding from Sequoia in July 2013.

The company will use the new funds to expand the development of the platform, as well as add more people to assist customers.

“Life science companies spend more than $4 billion to bring a single product to market, largely because they cannot access the information they needed to manage their clinical trials,” said Lightspeed Venture Partners partner Peter Nieh in a statement.

“Comprehend’s analytical solutions enable life science companies to execute the clinical research process in a fundamentally new way, and the market is responding with great enthusiasm.”

The platform makes trials information available to executives, clinical operations staff, data management people, and clinical monitors. They can see information on all aspects of work being done on the trial.

Comprehend says the main problem with the way clinical trials is done now is that information is kept in separate places that can be accessed by different people. Putting it all in one place, Comprehend says, creates more effective trials, increased collaboration, improved audits, and reduced research timelines and study costs for drug and device companies.

In the past year, Boston Scientific, Karyopharm, MERGE, Atlantic Research Group, and Versartis have all begun using Comprehend’s platform.

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