Clinical trial technology company Science 37 has raised $29 million in a Series C round of funding led by Glynn Capital Management, with participation from Alphabet’s investment arm (GV), Amgen Ventures, Lux Capital, Redmile Group, DRX Capital, and Sanofi Ventures.
Founded in 2014, Los Angeles-based Science 37 takes a mobile-first approach to running clinical trials, as it works to more easily connect patients with scientists by eroding geographical barriers.
Traditionally, clinical trials are set up around specific locales, or “sites,” with patients recruited from a specific area. However, this approach limits the pool that trials can draw from. To counter this, Science 37 offers what it calls metasites, which bring clinical trials directly to each patient’s home. This makes large-scale clinical trials possible, while also opening trials up to broader demographics, as patients can still use their existing doctor, and telemedicine and home visits can also be used as part of the trial. This means that patients can benefit from the latest emerging treatments without having to relocate, thus cutting costs and time.
Science 37’s metasites are powered by a platform called NORA (Network Oriented Research Assistant), which centralizes everything and connect patients, health professionals, and researchers.
Before now, Science 37 had raised a $6.5 million funding round in late 2015 and a $31 million Series B follow-up just six months ago. The company’s latest cash injection will be used to expand its platform and further recruitment efforts.
“We’ve seen great success thus far in the model we developed,” said Science 37 CEO and cofounder Noah Craft. “It has not only increased the number of people able to participate in clinical trials, but also reduced the time it takes to recruit by nearly 50 percent in some cases. The new funding will help us drive continued expansion and recruit top talent from both the technology and from the clinical trial industries. The round will also allow us to expand into new therapeutic areas and to introduce these trials to a much broader set of demographics, including those with limited access to major medical facilities where these trials are typically offered.”
GV, formerly known as Google Ventures, has a long history of investments in life sciences, and just last month it announced it was backing SpyBiotech, an Oxford University spinout working on “next-generation” vaccines.
“Science 37 has developed a novel, decentralized framework for running clinical trials,” said GV general partner Krishna Yeshwant. “The company has completed clinical trials with impressive early results and has a great combination of operational expertise in clinical research, coupled with software sensibilities.”
Google’s parent company Alphabet is actually investing in a number of health-focused technologies through various affiliated offshoots, including Verily Life Sciences, which recently announced it had received an $800 million investment to help build technology to “better understand health” and manage diseases. Elsewhere, Alphabet subsidiary Calico, which was founded in 2013 by Google and Arthur D. Levinson, is a biotech research unit that’s looking into ways to extend human life.