TrialReach rounds up $1.2M for online trial recruitment

Sponsors and contract research outfits know all too well the pain of finding qualified patients for clinical research, as delays in recruitment can stall a program's development progress. TrialReach, a London-based startup, has recently found $1.2 million in investor support to beef up its online trial-recruitment services. The company plans to show off its new website for patient recruitment at the Health 2.0 Europe Conference, which takes place this week.

Amadeus Capital Partners, which backs tech firms, led the recent investment in TrialReach. Specifically, the company is providing new tools and content for its website, and it plans to make its services available in additional countries and languages, according to the company's release. The geographical expansion comes as more drugmakers are looking to territories such as Eastern Europe, Asia and South America to tap patients for trials.

It's no secret that industry folks can go online and learn about trials on sites such as Yet patients might get mired in the regulatory jargon and complex trial-design data there. To get patients to take the next step and enroll in trials, TrialReach provides user-friendly descriptions of trials and direct access to investigators who can usher them into a clinical study if they meet the certain requirements.

"Our strategy is based on empowering patients through content, tools and context, a formula that has revolutionized other sectors but was never tried before in clinical trials," said Pablo Graiver, co-founder and CEO of TrialReach, said in a statement. "The results so far have greatly exceeded our initial expectations. Thousands of patients have signed up for studies through our website, and hundreds of them have been put in contact with the investigators after passing a strict triple-filter process."

TrialReach is among a new breed of services for patient recruitment in trials. Contract research groups such as Quintiles and PPD are deploying software and other strategies to keep clinical studies stocked with qualified patients. And the social media group PatientsLikeMe has introduced a tool that gives its online community members information on trials that might be appropriate given the information patients reveal about their conditions. Trial recruiters have also found that advertising on Facebook has helped attract interest.

- here's TrialReach's release