Goldman Sachs backs clinical trial services in the cloud with $230M equity play amid decentralized study craze
The focus on decentralized clinical trials during the Covid-19 pandemic has shaken up the contract research space and spurred some massive valuations and deals along the way. Now, a company working in cloud-based trial services on the cutting edge of the field has snared a major investment from a leading Wall Street banker.
4G Clinical, a services firm that provides cloud-based randomization and clinical trial services, has bagged a $230 million equity investment from Goldman Sachs as it looks to add jet fuel to its global expansion plans, the company said in a release.
4G’s been around for six years and has so far run trial services for around 100 clinical studies for biopharma companies, the firm said. The company’s platform can cut the time for first patient enrollment by 50%, it said, and is designed for increasingly complex trial design, including decentralized studies.
“As life sciences companies strive for creativity and innovation in trial designs, they cannot afford to be limited by technology,” said 4G CTO Ed Tourtellotte said in a statement.
Goldman Sachs’ investment comes amid a spike in interest in companies and services working in decentralized clinical trials, a field that has seen rapid growth amid Covid-19.
In May, virtual trial software company Science 37 went public as part of a reverse merger with LifeSci Acquisition II Corp that valued the company at $1.05 billion. Science 37 got its start back in 2014 and struck a partnership with Novartis four years later to launch 10 virtual clinical trials in which patients could participate via cell phone. The system can capture and generate data from things like electronic clinical outcomes assessments, eConsent and real-world evidence.
Meanwhile, companies like London-based Huma are using wearable technology and a patient app to help researchers prescreen participants, conduct remote visits via telehealth, track medication and collect real-life data. The company says its platform can double clinical capacity and reduce hospital readmissions by over a third, with patient adherence levels of over 90%. In May, the firm unveiled a $130 million Series C with backing from Leaps by Bayer.
Meanwhile, the rush into decentralized trials has also spurred a wave of M&A among the major contract research outfits. In April, Thermo Fisher acquired PPD for $17.4 billion, explicitly painting the deal as a boost to its trial services wing.
Two months earlier, Dublin-based Icon bagged PRA Health Sciences for $12 billion, a merger that created the second-largest global CRO behind only IQVIA in terms of 2020 revenue. PRA noted in its announcement the growth in decentralized trials the pandemic has fueled.