Access to start clinical trials HealthMatch has raised $10 million in Series C.
The round was led by the company’s original lender, Folkloric Enterprises. Paul Bassat’s Square Peg Capital led an $18 million Series B in the Sydney-based startup in December 2020, and also invested in Series C. Square Peg also led a $6 million Series A at the end of 2019. Malcolm and Lucy Turnbull are among the past investors in HealthMatch, which uses machine learning to automate clinical trials for contract research companies.
The medtech startup has increased its patient base 10x since its previous increase, with more than 1 million patients worldwide now using the platform, which is like a Tinder for medical studies where patients can profile, search, match and be placed in clinical trials. in more than 300 fitness areas.
Founder and CEO Manuri Gunawardena launched HealthMatch in 2017 as a senior medical student at the University of Sydney. Since then, more than 35,000 patients have been admitted to studies by leading research institutions such as Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Stanford and Mayo Clinic in the US and Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, Peter Mac & Monash Alfred Psychiatry Research Center in Australia.
After laying off half of the team in June, Gunawardena said she was excited to secure Series C capital and will use it to once again increase the workforce and expand the platform in the United States.
“Despite our success to date, changing capital markets forced HealthMatch to adapt its approach to scale and make some difficult restructuring decisions earlier this year,” she said.
“Today marks an exciting milestone as we continue to improve access to critical care, and I am grateful to Folklore Ventures, our investors and our dedicated team who share our vision to redefine the future of medicine.”
Gunawardena said the ability to access a clinical trial as a patient could be a life-saving opportunity, especially if there is no standard treatment.
“There is nothing more motivating than hearing the stories of patients who found a clinical trial through HealthMatch, especially those who were unaware of the opportunity to participate before coming across our platform,” she said.
“With more than 1 million patients taking advantage of HealthMatch’s ability to streamline the process of finding and opening clinical trials, we see a real impact on the lives of many patients, not just through the way they access some of the latest and greatest health innovations, but also with the impact we can have on new treatments coming to market.”
Folklore Ventures Managing Partner Alister Coleman said the Sydney VC had now backed all four increases from Seed to Series C.
“In the space of just a few years, HealthMatch has proven the importance of its global mission and showing the world that a patient-centered approach to solving a fundamental problem in R&D in the life sciences can be valuable for patients and clinicians alike,” said he. .
“We are as committed to Manuri’s vision as we were on day one, and we believe HealthMatch will continue to set new frontiers for patient engagement, enhanced clinical trial activities, and ultimately a brighter future for drug development.”
HealthMatch was launched in the US in October 2021 and now averages 100,000 patients per month for new user registrations.
Gunawardena said HealthMatch is increasingly partnering with pharmaceutical companies beyond trial recruiting, leveraging insights from 32 million anonymized and aggregated patient medical questions to help the industry better understand how trials should be designed and chosen. where they implement them to ultimately deliver better treatments for patients, faster.
The startup has collaborated with global pharmaceutical giants including Roche, AbbVie & Boehringer Ingelheim, as well as emerging biotech innovators such as Imugene & Earli.
“We have great healthcare in Australia where access to leading healthcare providers and medicines is publicly available through Medicare. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the US and we have seen a strong interest in access to investigations, especially from underserved and diverse communities who lack adequate resources,” she said.
There is significant industry demand for solutions that address the efficiencies of clinical trials and reduce the process of bringing new drugs to market, with 80% of clinical trials worldwide being delayed or halted due to poor recruitment – an issue that ravages the industry and costs decades of billions a year.”