Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Clinical Research IO, which developed an electronic platform for researchers to quickly capture data during clinical trials, has raised $1.6 million in seed funding in a round led by NXT Ventures and Rally Ventures. Previously, the company raised $800,000, and the latest funding brings the company’s total to $2.4 million. The funding will be used to develop Clinical Research IO’s sales and vendor partnerships.
The platform, which launched in September and is available on Android or the web, aims to replace the traditional pen-and-paper data capture that researchers must compile during studies, which not only takes a significant amount of time, but can also result in bad data collection rife with errors. Additionally, manual data collection also requires a lengthy source data verification process with the pharmaceutical or device company sponsoring the trial, which accounts for up to 20 to 25 percent of clinical trial costs (around $6 billion per year).
“The vast majority of clinical research sites collect data on paper, then transcribe onto web-based capture platforms sponsored by the company running the trial, which creates tremendous waste,” Clinical Research IO Cofounder and CEO Raymond Nomizu told MobiHealthNews in an interview. “So, what we’re doing can be thought of as an EMR for clinical research, where research sites can very easily use templates, collect data, create alerts and collect much larger data sets that can be made transparent to the sponsor in real time.”
The software allows researchers to choose from Clinical Research IO’s library of pre-developed source templates, then use a tablet to capture data. The software allows researchers to catch and correct source data errors, manage patient compliance, and recruit and schedule patients. The company plans to offer iOS tools soon.
“The system should be a last mile solution, and we built this in a manner that is very consistent with research guidelines so it is optimized for people collecting data,” said Nomizu.
The company has signed deals with 50 customers since launch and has agreements with two electronic data capture systems to integrate their data feeds – Medidata and Aris Cloud.
“There is a strong hunger and desire for this in clinical research investigations,” said Nomizu. “We have partners across the United States, Canada and Mexico, and we are also coming out with a Spanish language version of the software soon.”
Nomizu was prompted to develop the electronic platform with his colleague Phuc Truong based on their own experience and frustration with the slow, sometimes inaccurate and always costly manual data collection. Nomizu owns and operates a clinical research site in Massachusetts, and the majority of the testing of the product took place right there.
“We did a little shadowing at our own site and tested out ideas with other research sites, but most of it was leveraged from the fact that I had been on the floor and done so much stuff myself so I had the functional requirements built in from the beginning. Most of it was validating what we had built,” Nomizu said.
Now, Clinical Research IO is working to build out the installed research sites that are currently using their software, and starting some pilot projects with a few pharmaceutical companies. While Nomizu couldn’t name names at this stage, he did say the company is close to signing a deal with a medical device company to try the Clinical Research IO platform with a trial on a dermatological device.
In addition to the lead investors, Clinical Research IO also received funding from its officers, a group of angel investors including Joe Caruso, and industry investors including Joslin Diabetes Center endocrinologist Dr. William Hsu.