Science 37, a Los Angeles-based technology-enabled clinical research company, has completed a $6.5 million Series A financing co-led by Lux Capital and dRx Capital. The investment will accelerate Science 37’s development and rollout of its new operating model, which is designed to solve some of the greatest inefficiencies in conducting clinical trials.
“Accelerating clinical trials is possible—but only if we make it easier for people to participate,” said Noah Craft, M.D., Ph.D., and co-founder and CEO of Science 37. “Clinical research design and delivery is one of the few industries that has yet to be disrupted by technology—Science 37 uses mobile engagement and locally delivered medical services to bring clinical trials to scale.”
The new funding came from Lux Ventures IV, a $350 million fund targeting early-stage science and technology ventures, and the newly formed dRx Capital, a joint venture between Qualcomm and Novartis focused on digital medicine products, services and business models.
Science 37’s new metasite operating model efficiently delivers end-to-end clinical trial services under a single contract by leveraging partnerships with national mobile nursing companies, pharmacy chains, patient advocacy groups and other technology companies to maximize efficiency. The company is built on design-thinking principles and rapid prototyping to bring innovative clinical trials to patients at home and in local care circles.
The pharmaceutical industry spends more than $50 billion annually on clinical trials. Up to 90% of those trials, however, face cost overruns and delays, and nearly 50% of research sites underperform on patient enrollment targets. Today, patients lack real-time access to information about clinical trials. More than 80% of patients say they are interested in participating in trials, but are hindered by mobility and distance from trial sites, with close to 70% of the population living more than two hours away from research sites.
The new Science 37 metasite model has the potential to accelerate biomedical discovery while reducing the cost of developing new therapies. Science 37’s technology platform, the Network Oriented Research Assistant (NORA), utilizes telemedicine and coordinates mobile workforces to overcome geographic barriers and unlocks access, so anyone can take part in trials, including underserved and minority populations. NORA puts the trial directly in patients’ hands, so research participants are better engaged with researchers and their staff. The enhanced engagement allows for better collection of high-quality real-world data, improved medication adherence and safety monitoring, and an increased likelihood of trial success.