Health, Wellness & Biotech

Curebase Inks $15M Series A For New Approach To Clinical Trials

Illustration of man sleeping while connected to monitor.

Curebase raised $15 million in Series A funding toward the development of its decentralized clinical trial software platform that enables research to be conducted with any patient in their home and with their own doctor.

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GGV Capital led the round with participation from institutional investors, including Xfund and Bold Capital. The new capital brings Curebase’s total raise to $18.9 million, according to Curebase CEO Tom Lemberg.

The global pandemic halted many in-person clinical trials that involve patients traveling to academic institutions and medical centers, leading many to adopt decentralized clinical trials following U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidance.

Founded in 2017, the San Francisco-based company’s platform is going after the $50 billion clinical trial industry with study designs that enable the trials to happen around the patient’s lifestyle, which makes them faster, more cost-effective and can provide a more diverse mix of patients, Lemberg told Crunchbase News.

“Clinical trials are usually at academic universities, and lack access,” he added. “Many trials can only attract 5 percent of patients when there are up to 70 percent of people who are interested in being a part of a trial.”

Curebase is able to recruit an average of 200 patients to get a trial up and running in as little as four weeks, versus the average time period of 12 months, Lemberg said. There is also a companion physician app that can turn any specialist’s patient base into a clinical trial.

During the global pandemic, Curebase operated six different COVID-19 studies using community-based, pop-up drive-through testing sites across the country that became clinical data collection sites.

Curebase is currently operating more than 12 clinical studies, and Lemberg intends to invest the new funding in software, partnership development and sales. He is also looking at expanding technology into more treatment areas, as well as into the European clinical trial market.

“We are developing the best-in-class patient experience in the home, but we are not stopping there,” Lemberg added. “We want to activate doctors and turn them into a clinical trial partner. We also think the pharmacy has a part to play as does urgent treatment and insurance.”

In 2020, the company experienced 3x revenue growth, and 4x the number of clinical trials in operation. Curebase has more than 25 customers. That’s testament to the quick adoption of decentralized clinical trials, Lemberg said.

As part of the investment, Jeff Richards, managing partner at GGV Capital, joined the board of directors.

Lemberg is taking what was a pen-and-paper industry and putting technology behind it, he said.

“Tom is an expert in the space, mission driven and has a read on how software, mobile and globalization play into clinical trials,” Richards said in an interview. “COVID changed everything, and pharmaceutical companies are embracing technology and want to get their drugs to market. Vaccines were developed in a short period of time, and anything we can do as technology providers to speed it up, make them effective and faster, there will be a tailwind behind them.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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