Assay Depot lands $1.7M to take pharma research buying to the cloud

With a goal of streamlining how drug developers buy research services, Assay Depot has rallied private investors to raise $1.7 million, according to a press release. The firm aims to enable pharmas to buy research services from contractors online, taking pages from the playbooks of e-commerce heavyweights such as Amazon and applying them to the life sciences industry.

"We've taken the best features from Amazon, Yelp and Facebook and built a unique Web 2.0 platform for the pharmaceutical industry," Jack Giarraputo, an Assay Depot backer and Hollywood film producer, said in a statement.

As Xconomy reports today, Assay Depot was formed five years ago and previously raised $1.8 million from individuals like Giarraputo. The company, which is based in the San Diego area, has been advancing its online marketplaces for such service providers as contract research organizations with an eye toward offering ways to make the process of procuring services--and ultimately developing a product for the market--more efficient and automated. The company says the new funding will be used to expand its online products.

While features that work well for consumer-focused websites like Amazon and Facebook don't necessarily make a recipe for winning over life sciences customers, it's true there's room to bring more efficiency to the way developers procure services from CROs and other service providers. As Xconomy's Bruce Bigelow points out, it can take days or weeks for a principal investigator to hire a CRO using conventional methods. We'll see whether Assay Depot ultimately becomes a big hit among researchers in the market for lab mice or protein manufacturing like Amazon has for people buying books or electronics.

- here's the release
- see Xconomy's report

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