A unicorn bags another $220M to fund its plans to upend the clinical trial process
The focus on decentralized trials amid the pandemic has led investors to make some big bets on companies promising to shake up the contract research space. Reify Health is the latest, coming away with $220 million to end what it calls the “sit and wait” period during trial enrollment.
“What we’re doing, and the future of clinical trials overall, goes beyond decentralized trials,” executive chairman Michael Lin said in a statement. “We need to have a global healthcare system proactively reaching out to patients everywhere and mobilizing the resources necessary to bring trials to them.”
Coatue Management led the hefty Series C round, bringing Reify’s valuation to $2.2 billion, the company said on Tuesday morning. The money will support its two entities, StudyTeam and Care Access, which are focused on optimizing patient recruitment and running decentralized trials, respectively.
“If we want to consistently enroll trials in three to four months instead of 18 months, there are two key things we must achieve,” CEO Ralph Passarella said in a statement. “First, we must be able to rapidly identify enough interested patients. Second, we have to make it feasible for those patients to participate in the relevant trial.”
In 2015, the company began building more than 60 new research sites and later brought on mobile site vehicles to spread their reach. To help optimize recruitment, they launched StudyTeam, which promises to save study sponsors an average of six weeks in patient enrollment. The tech platform is used by some of the big players, like Amgen, Eli Lilly and AstraZeneca, according to Reify.
ICONIQ Growth, Adams Street Partners, Sierra Ventures and Battery Ventures also chipped in on the round.
Reify is one of many companies looking to revolutionize clinical trials. Just two months ago, Goldman Sachs made a $230 million equity investment in 4G Clinical, a services firm that provides cloud-based randomization and clinical trial services. Hoboken, NJ-based Castor raised a modest $45 million for its decentralized approach last month. And in May, Leaps by Bayer led a $200 million venture round for Huma Therapeutics and its digital “hospital at home” tech. And those are just a few of the contenders in that space.
“We’ve now operated massive and complex trials in ways that, just five years ago, would have felt like science fiction,” said Ahmad Namvargolian, CEO of Care Access. “The future of clinical trials is here.”