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TrialSpark Raises $156MM in Series C to Develop Clinical Trials Platform

TrialSpark announced September 30th it has raised $156MM in a Series C funding round, led by Sam Altman and Lachy Groom, to develop its clinical trials AI-run platform and bring better treatments to patients.

New and existing investors participated in the funding round, including Sequoia Capital (Series A lead), Thrive Capital (Series B lead), Casdin Capital, Dragoneer, Section 32, John Doerr, Spark Capital, Felicis Ventures, Sound Ventures, Arrowmark, and previous investors.

The technology-driven pharma company that runs faster and cheaper clinical trials will use the funds to acquire promising candidate drugs to develop in-house. TrialSpark aims to create a new kind of pharma company that can lower drug costs, expand access to treatments, and transform how we deliver new medicines to patients

TrialSpark is building a next-generation pharma company focused on bringing new treatments to patients faster and more efficiently. Despite the sweeping technological changes transforming biotech, bringing a new drug to market still takes longer than ten years and costs billions of dollars. The time and costs of development continue to increase, contributing to rising drug prices, inflated healthcare costs, and, ultimately, decreased access to treatments for patients.

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TrialSpark is building a next-gen pharma company bringing new treatments to patients faster and more efficiently.

AI and data analysis to change the face of healthcare 

Now that we have the technology to process large amounts of data quickly, various applications for data analysis are available to be used across industries, and especially in healthcare. 

The artificial intelligence market for healthcare is expected to exceed more than $35 billion by the middle of next year. In fact, recent studies have shown that automation is transforming numerous healthcare procedures, especially those related to clinical trials, the benefits being evident and proving just how important AI is for the future of healthcare, and particularly clinical trials. AI will end up saving billions of dollars for the healthcare industry.

For example, digital records are much more efficient than paper-based reports, and even storing these files is made a lot easier with automated systems. Automation provides better insights into certain clinical matters, and certainly a lot faster than through any human-related process. Of course, clinical trials are not the only ones to benefit from using AI, but this is one of the areas in automated systems that have proven very effective.

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TrialSpark’s thesis is that in today’s world, where the long and expensive clinical trial process is the biggest bottleneck in drug development, the competitive advantage you want as a pharma company is to be able to run clinical trials cheaper and faster.

Pharma marketing refers to the marketing of drugs and medical devices by private and public organizations to doctors, clinicians, and consumers.  With the average American spending  $1,000 on drugs a year, marketing is a top priority for the major players in the pharmaceutical industry. With so much spending involved, most companies understand the great role and importance of marketing in pharma.

The TrialSpark tech platform integrates the front-end and back-end of trials 

Since its launch in 2016 by CEO Benjamine Liu, a Yale and Oxford-trained computational biologist and CTO Linhao Zhang, a veteran of Salesforce and Oscar Health, TrialSpark has built a clinical trial engine that offers enhanced study quality and speed through real-time access to data, innovative trial design, and operational agility. The TrialSpark tech platform integrates the front-end of trials (recruitment, eConsent, eSource) with the back-end (data management, monitoring, and biostats) to eliminate siloed study data. The result is 50% faster study timelines and 95% of patients unlocked who were previously unreached by clinical trials.

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TrialSpark is building a full-stack pharma company that can develop drugs in-house faster and more efficiently than traditional pharma companies, driven by the belief that every day saved in the clinical trial process is one day sooner than a patient can access a life-changing treatment.

“A lot of people complain about the mournful cost of bringing a new drug to market, but TrialSpark is actually doing something about it,” said Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI. “Clinical trials are needlessly complex and expensive, and this directly contributes to the cost of drugs and keeps many promising drugs from ever coming to market. TrialSpark can fix this.”

The newly acquired funds will be used to develop their clinical trial platform

The company will use the Series C funds to acquire and/or partner on clinical-stage pharmaceutical assets to develop through their in-house clinical trial platform, and also to invest in biotech companies with promising drug candidates ready for development. Countless excellent drug candidates sit on shelves due to the prohibitive cost and duration of traditional clinical trials, and TrialSpark is uniquely positioned to give those treatments a chance to reach patients.

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“Trialspark is building a new type of pharma company that has the potential to dramatically expand patient access to new treatments and align key stakeholders in drug development,” said Kareem Zaki, General Partner at Thrive Capital. “We are excited to be on this consequential and ambitious journey with them.”

The Series C funds will also be used to scale the TrialSpark team, which is growing rapidly across all departments in New York City and remotely. With a diverse team from across tech, life sciences, and pharma, TrialSpark is merging decades of deep subject matter expertise and tech-forward thinking to radically reimagine every part of the pharma value chain and work to bring treatments to patients faster than ever before.

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