Founded by one of the founders of Kayak (a popular travel booking site, nothing to do with research), Trialreach has just completed it Series B, seeking to create a platform or database of patients by standardising clinical trial eligibility criteria, with the hope of better matching patients taking part in these trials and increasing the number of participants.
Trialreach aims to fall between patients googling drugs for their diseases and clinical trails recruiting new patients. They say that it helps “bring order to chaos” in clinical trials by making it easy for clinical trial organisers to understand their patients. Or the other way around by keeping clinical trial protocols away from patients unaware of complex medical terminologies i.e keeping it simple.
With a capital of more than $20 million raised from venture capitalists in series A and B, the UK based company is trying to solve a problem that an excel sheet could easily solve. While matching the right patients to the right clinical trials is slightly time consuming, the bigger problem is getting these patients to be willing to become guinea pigs for the experimental drugs that pharmaceutical companies are testing. Even if these companies do manage to create a huge enough database filled with patients unable to afford healthcare, they will struggle to succeed in other locations around the world.
With fancy/uninspired jargon such as “smart matched”, that find patients specific to a trial, (again we would point out to an excel sheet with filters and synonyms). The company also promises to make machine readable the clinical trials listing data. In comparison to ClinicalTrials.gov, they go beyond just helping discover clinical trials, to maintain a database of categorised individuals. Something that “no one has ever done before”, why? maybe because I believe it’s better to be more careful while screening candidates for a life saving drug.
For now Trialreach’s founders have boasted a reach of “millions” of people into its health portals including Healthline, Everyday Health and CenterWatch, as well as patient networks such as WEGO Health and CureClick. There are no stats on how many of these “millions” are signing up in their medical history to help build Trailreach’s database. However, they have begun to call themselves the world’s biggest database of clinical trials, easy task considering there is no other database to compete with.
Awareness to Clinical Trials
Awareness in healthcare can be more easily spread by the ‘push’ method where physicians are made aware of clinical trials and who therefore can push towards a specific trial. With pull method of patient recruitment predicted to decline, TrialReach seems to already started on the wrong foot. Setting aside all the pompous terminologies being used, in the end TrialReach will be similar to resume scanning softwares, those that scan for specific keywords and filter based on job profiles.
They could even future proof themselves by including the patient’s database so that clinical trials can look for people with specific genes. However, to do so their is much too work to be done and price of complete gene sequencing to come to the magic mark of $100 from $1000 where it currently is.