Virtual trial specialist and Big Pharma-backed Science 37 nabs $40M funding round

Novartis, Amgen, Sanofi, PPD and Google’s VC arm are just a few of the big names backing California’s “siteless” trial expert Science 37’s $40 million funding round.

The oversubscribed cash pot sees those big name life science companies join existing investors Lux Capital and Redmile Group and new investors including LifeSci Ventures and Mubadala Ventures.

Science 37 will use the new capital to boost its tech platform as well as its “global expansion efforts,” according to a statement.

The company uses its system of telehealth programs to remotely screen patients and conduct study visits, removing the need for physical trial sites.

Amid the ongoing pandemic, when so many trials have been paused or halted due to lockdowns and safety fears, Science 37 has become hot property in the hope it can help many studies stay the course.

While often spoken of, actually using a decentralized trial system as the predominate way of doing tests is a long way off, and barriers in some studies, especially in areas like oncology where hospital visits may be necessary, still exist. But where trials can be done at home, this system has in the time of COVID-19 become increasingly attractive.

“The Science 37 mission to democratize clinical research by bringing trials directly to the patients is not only the right thing to do, but it also has had a clear, measurable impact on sponsors' ability to access a more diverse patient population, accelerate research, and bring new medicines to the market faster,” said David Coman, CEO of Science 37.

“We are thrilled to have an incredibly strong, committed network of investors and plan to continue extending our leadership in the decentralized clinical trial market.”

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“We are in the unique position where the clinical trial industry absolutely has to adapt to a new model, today and going forward,” added Adam Goulburn, partner at Lux Capital.

“Science 37 has been preparing for this day for years with an incredible head start. They are uniquely positioned to help sponsors conduct clinical research without the traditional barriers. With their foundation and impressive growth, Lux knows Science 37 will continue to lead the way.”