Trialbee raises $5M to bring mobile-enabled clinical trials business to US

By Jonah Comstock
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TrialbeeSwedish clinical trial recruitment company Trialbee has raised $5 million in first-round funding from existing investors Industrifonden and Briban Invest. The company previously raised about $3.2 million in seed funding. The money will be used, among other things, to support Trialbee's entrance into the US market.

Trialbee provides mobile and web-based tools for clinical trial recruitment, online study feasibility evaluation, study retention and electronic data capture. This is a market that has seen some success in recent years, but has yet to catch on in a big way with pharmaceutical companies.

"We are successfully providing e-recruitment to an increasing number of leading top pharmaceutical companies," Tobias Folkesson, CEO of Trialbee, said in a statement. "We predicted that 2015 would be the breakthrough year when the pharmaceutical industry switches from traditional patient recruitment to more efficient e-recruitment methods. We see this transformation happening now. With additional funding we are well placed to further expand our business and grow the workforce to be able to help more customers save time and resources in their clinical trial programs."

Last September, Trialbee announced that AstraZeneca would be using its services for clinical trial recruitment. In January, it signed a deal with Novo Nordisk to implement its technology in several studies of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

The mobile clinical trial space has been poised to heat up for a number of years now, but pharma's conservativism has kept it from being an explosive transition.

In January, Novartis tapped Qualcomm Life for its Clinical Trial of the Future program. In February, Austin, Texas-based clinical trial recruitment company ePatientFinder raised nearly $2.6 million from Parsons & Whittemore and a group of angel investors. There are a number of other companies playing in different parts of the emerging mobile clinical trial space, including Clinical Ink, Exco InTouch, and mProve Health (formerly Omniscience Mobile).