Deloitte Tech Fast 50 startup Evrima, which helps pharmaceutical companies run clinical trials for new drugs, has raised $3 million.
The round was led by the Sydney arm of alternative investments firm Artesian, supported by BridgeLane Capital and Wavemaker Partners.
It’s the first investment via Artesian’s new $100 million Female Leaders VC Fund, which is being run in partnership with female-focused angel investor group, Scale Investors. The fund, announced last November, targets Series A and B rounds in high-growth female-led ventures in the Asia Pacific region and is backed by industry super funds Hostplus and legalsuper
Evrima addresses the recruitment side of drug trials, with more than 80% of studies delayed by a lack of suitable patients alongside a lack of easily accessible information for GPs on local clinical trials.
The platform allows patients and doctors to register their interest for various clinical trials using digital phenotypes and workflow automation. The company has already worked with Avance Clinical, Top 5 pharmaceutical, and ASX-listed biotechnology companies, assisting with clinical trials for various therapeutics and devices.
Avance Clinical chief strategy officer Ben Edwards said Evrima supports a number of its client’s studies, accessing a broader population of clinical trial participants to hit or exceed recruitment milestones.
“Working with Evrima allows Avance to offer tailored digital technology solutions targeted at de-risking patient recruitment and leading to improved patient outcomes,” he said.
Bradshaw, Evrima’s CEO, said that during the Covid pandemic, the company had 306% growth in its annualised revenue, making inroads into the US market, which dominates clinical trials.
“Most of our growth to date has been on the back of referrals and repeat business from our clients. If anything, the pandemic highlighted the need within the biotech community to embrace technology to help them run both efficient and robust clinical trials,” she said.
“It’s also raised awareness of the process with the public too – we saw a 51% increase in the number of candidates on our database last year.”
While launching as a clinical trial recruitment platform designed to reduce the time it takes to find, match and enrol the right sample size for a trial, Bradshaw said they found multiple other issues in the trial management process that can be addressed through technology.
“These funds will help us build out new features to address this to both support existing clients and take on new ones,” she said.
“This round marks the start of our next growth phase for our business. We’re looking to double our headcount, hiring another 10 roles within the next 6 months. We will also continue proactively engaging new biotechs to use our platform. One of the new markets we’ll be targeting is post-marketing trials, testing the efficacy of products that are already on the market. It’s an underserved area in our sector.”
BridgeLane Group CEO Markus Kahlbetzer said the pandemic was a wake-up call for the importance of an efficient and effective clinical trial industry to bring life-saving drugs to market quicker.
“Evrima’s unique recruitment and project management tool is helping do just this by disrupting the way pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies recruit and manage patients,” he said.
“The growth Charlotte and her team have boasted to-date is a testament to how important Evrima’s offering has become.”