Tech startup hopes to be the Kayak of clinical trials

TrialReach's Pablo Graiver

A former executive at travel booking site has launched a matchmaking service for clinical trials, hoping to expand the platform to allow patients to find studies as easily as vacationers book flights.

Dubbed TrialReach, the London-based startup is hoping to create a global database of clinical trials actively recruiting patients, allowing users to search for studies sponsored by pharma and academia. For now, the site only indexes U.S. trials focused on diabetes, but TrialReach told Bloomberg it plans to expand the scope to include 14 more diseases by the end of the year.

The site works like this: Patients answer questions about their vitals, symptoms and prior treatments, and TrialReach generates a list of nearby studies. Each study listing describes its goals and duration in jargon-free language, and TrialReach allows users to connect with investigators straight from the site.

The company has already recruited Novartis ($NVS), Pfizer ($PFE) and Eli Lilly ($LLY) to back its technology and list their studies on the site, and CRO giant Parexel International ($PRXL) has come on board as well. The company told Bloomberg it has agreements with most of the world's 25 biggest drugmakers and CROs, and it's working to expand its presence in the industry.

Ex-Kayak Vice President Pablo Graiver got TrialReach up and running in 2009 with the help of friend and cardiologist Jessica Mann. The company has since raised about $20 million in venture capital, poaching executives from Shazam, Lilly and Investec along the way.

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