London-based Exco InTouch, which is providing Pfizer with the mobile clinical trial technology its using in its REMOTE study, has secured about $4.67 million from Scottish Equity Partners (SEP). Exco plans to use the funds to expand and take advantage of the "significant growth opportunities" in the emerging mobile patient communication market, the company's press release stated.
Exco claims to count nine of the world's top 10 pharmaceutical companies as customers for its mobile phone and Internet-based clinical trial services. Exco's technology is used for "supporting patient recruitment and retention; aiding compliance; and facilitating the electronic capture of patient reported outcomes data (ePRO) during clinical trials and in Late Phase observational studies."
In June Pfizer announced the first FDA-approved clinical drug trial involving all-electronic home-based reporting: The drug being “tested”, Detrol, is intended for use by patients with overactive bladders. However, the real purpose of the study, according to Pfizer, is to compare the mobile reporting of trial data to traditional methods of drug testing. The drug had previously been tested against a placebo during a four month 600 patient trial in 2007. Trial participants will not be required to go to a testing facility at any point during the study. Participants will not be required to live near a test site either. Pfizer plans to recruit them via online ads. Pfizer plans to mail participants the medication and them have them use diaries on their smartphones to track symptoms, conduct blood tests at home, and fill out periodic assessments online.
Exco InTouch has been in the mobile-enabled clinical assessment business since 2004. As of June 2010, the company had supported more than 500,000 patients in more than 60 countries. Exco had facilitated more than 3 million text messages for its customers.
For more on the funding news, read the press release below:
Exco InTouch Secures Growth Investment From Sep
Mobile patient communication leader to use funds to accelerate growth strategy
LONDON, UK - 29 September, 2011 - Leading growth equity and venture capital group Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) has led an initial £3m pound investment in Exco InTouch, the leading provider of mobile patient communication and management solutions for the pharmaceutical and healthcare sector.
SEP has taken a minority stake in the company which will use the funds to accelerate its expansion, enabling it to take advantage of significant growth opportunities in the clinical technology sector, particularly in the emerging mobile patient communication market.
Exco InTouch, whose clients include nine of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical businesses, has developed an innovative suite of patient-focused services which are delivered using a combination of cell-phone and internet technology. Used in clinical trials, the company’s services benefit both patients and pharmaceutical clients: supporting patient recruitment and retention; aiding compliance; and facilitating the electronic capture of patient reported outcomes data (ePRO) during clinical trials and in Late Phase observational studies.
The company’s services have already successfully supported more than 600,000 patients participating in clinical trials in more than 70 countries, including working with Pfizer on the industry’s first ever mobile-enabled clinical trial. Benefits include significantly improved patient communication and compliance as well as ease of integration with users’ proprietary systems.
Demand for its services is growing exponentially as pharmaceutical companies are increasingly adopting smart technology to optimise clinical trial execution. Exco InTouch is also targeting opportunities in the broader healthcare market as its mobile platform can also be used to manage patient education, medication compliance and measure effectiveness.
The business, which is already generating profits and employs some 40 staff, has its headquarters in the UK and bases in the United States and recently opened a second UK office in Nottingham to accommodate up to 30 more staff. Its strategy is focused on a patient-centred solution, a stance supported by regulatory authorities.
Exco InTouch, which was founded in 2004 by Chief Executive Tim Davis and Chief Technology Officer Mike Hansen, benefits from a highly experienced senior management team. The company is headed by Executive Chairman Neil Rotherham, co-founder of ClinPhone, another clinical technology business which he steered from start up to a successful IPO on the London Stock Exchange, before it was acquired by Parexel, one of the world’s top contract research organisations.
SEP will support the company through its next growth phase, enabling it to invest further in people, technology and infrastructure and to further enhance its revolutionary mobile technology platform. Jan Rutherford, a Partner at SEP, joins Exco InTouch as a non-executive director. She brings on board a wealth of experience in providing strategic support to high growth companies in the healthcare sector as well as previous experience in working for Novartis and Quintiles.
Jan Rutherford said: “We have great confidence in the Exco InTouch management team who have an outstanding track record in the clinical technology sector. We see significant growth opportunities for what is truly game-changing technology. They are conducting pioneering work with world leaders in drug development which is helping to make healthcare more efficient, effective, accessible and patient-centric.”
Dr. Neil Rotherham, Executive Chairman at Exco InTouch, adds, “We were attracted to SEP’s extensive industry experience and heavy investment in the market sector we work in. SEP will be able to complement and challenge us, as well as helping our continuing growth. This financial year has proved highly successful for us, with particular growth in our ePRO, and patient engagement services that are used for patient retention, recruitment and compliance in clinical trials and other healthcare settings.”
For Exco InTouch: Fiona Robinson, The Scott Partnership, 1 Whiteside, Station Road, Holmes Chapel, Cheshire CW4 8AA Tel: +44 1477 539539 Fax: +44 1477 539540 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
For SEP: Valerie Darroch, Corporate Affairs Email: email@example.com Tel: + 44 7970 737708
About Exco InTouch
Exco InTouch is the leading provider of interactive patient communication and engagement solutions using internet and cell phone technology. Using a combination of software and services, the company provides a variety of innovative ePRO, recruitment, retention and compliance services that are used by BioPharma sponsors, CROs and patient recruitment agencies.
Established in November 2004, Exco InTouch is a profitable and steadily expanding organisation whose services are proven with over 600,000 subjects across 67 countries. The company has a significant track record within the industry and is currently working with 9 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies; it also has preferred provider agreements in place with a number of global CROs and recruitment agencies.
The company employs around 40 people with two UK bases and two in the United States and plans to expand its workforce further. Its operations staff are highly experienced with expertise in mobile telecommunications, providing a flexible and highly customer focused service.
Its solutions are delivered in the local language and the company is compliant with Safe Harbour, HIPAA, FDA 21 CFR 11 and global data protection and privacy legislation.
For more info on Exco InTouch visit http://www.excointouch.com
About Scottish Equity Partners
Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) is a leading independent, owner-managed venture capital and growth equity firm with a 20 year track record of successful investing. Operating from offices in Glasgow and London, it invests in innovative, high growth potential companies in the IT, healthcare and energy sectors. With significant funds available and an integrated investment team, SEP has the resource and experience to add value from investment through to exit and has been selected as the partner of choice by many of the UK’s leading technology companies. For more information see www.sep.co.uk
Recent portfolio exits include the sale of web traffic management company Zeus Technology to Riverbed Technology Inc (NASDAQ: RVBD) for a total price of up to $140m, and the sale of multimedia home networking company Gigle Networks to Broadcom Corp (NASDAQ: BRCM). SEP also exited from cancer therapy company BioVex which was acquired by Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ: AMGN, SEHK: 4332) in a deal worth $1bn which earned SEP the Venture Deal of the Year award in the Unquote British Private Equity Awards 2011.
SEP’s current portfolio comprises award-winning high growth companies including several in the healthcare sector: Cmed (www.cmedgroup.com) which combines full clinical research services with advanced clinical data capture and management technology; and healthcare informatics company Aridhia (www.aridhia.com). It also includes Media Ingenuity (www.mediaingenuity.com) a specialist in online marketing services and technology for the financial services sector; managed IT services provider Control Circle (www.controlcircle.com); flight search engine Skyscanner (www.skyscanner.net); wireless communications leaders picoChip (www.picochip.com) and ipaccess (www.ipaccess.com); energy-related technology specialist ARKeX (www.arkex.com); semiconductor company Elonics (www.elonics.com); oil technology business Deep Casing Tools (www.deepcasingtools.com); and IT analytics company Sumerian (www.sumerian.com/).
For more info visit http://www.sep.co.uk