DCT startup looking to forge better community relationships nets a modest Series B
The decentralized clinical trial industry went through a huge boom during the Covid-19 pandemic as biotechs and Big Pharma companies alike were forced to shift gears. Looking to capitalize on that momentum, a San Francisco startup is raising funds to ensure closer partnerships with the communities DCTs serve.
Curebase pulled together a $40 million Series B on Thursday, roughly 13 months after closing its Series A. While on the surface this may seem like another DTC company, CEO Tom Lemberg tells Endpoints News the company is looking to separate itself from the pack by going straight to the community to bring greater diversity to clinical trials.
What sets Curebase apart from most companies in the DCT space, Lemberg says, is the company actively seeks to partner with community doctors. Lemburg emphasized that the company has partnered with around 100 community physicians, such as primary care doctors, urgent care sites, testing sites and specialists through their operating system.
“We would leverage the community sites that are in those communities, we would leverage digital campaigns to reach patients where we’re able to reach that diverse population and we’re not limited by people who can drive into a few elite research centers,” Lemberg said.
Lemberg is a lifelong software engineer and undergraduate in computer science at Harvard. He became invested in healthcare biology and passionate about taking his technology background to healthcare, spawning the Curebase effort.
The company has continued to scale up and it now has over 120 people on staff, working with seven different publicly traded companies to run interventional drug trials. Curebase secured a $15 million Series A last April, and Thursday’s round was led by Industry Ventures and included new investors Acrew Capital, World Innovation Lab and Positive Sum.
Existing investors were GGV Capital, which led their Series A, Bold Capital and Xfund. The round also included an investment from Gilead to deepen the existing partnership with Curebase on implementing DCT and hybrid capabilities in trials.
“We did our Series B not because we were running out of cash, but because we wanted to accelerate our growth. We have really ambitious goals in terms of investing in our software platform, continuing to absolutely invest in an amazing patient experience,” Lemberg said. “We want to aggressively grow our site, operating system and site network to be able to reach more patients in the community.”
Apart from looking to scale up its clinical operations efforts and software development, the company is looking to go more global. Curebase is currently in four countries, but Lemberg said he would like to grow that to 10. The company’s services are available in three languages but would also like to offer them in 10 languages by the end of the year.