Osage Venture Partners is excited to announce that we recently led the $5M Series A round for Curavit, a full-service virtual contract research organization (VCRO) focused on designing and executing digital-first decentralized clinical trials (DCTs). Founded in 2020 by experts with decades of experience in technology and clinical research, Curavit leverages emerging technologies in digital health, cloud computing, and data science to recruit, engage, and monitor diverse patient populations without borders, ultimately bringing trials to patients in the cloud.
DCTs are a method of clinical trials where all or some of the operation takes place outside physical clinics or sites, oftentimes in the patient’s home or across a decentralized site of clinics, which requires a new digital-first approach. Clinical trials are difficult as it is, but with the added complexity of having patients distributed across the world, applying cutting-edge strategy and technology are even more important. Unfortunately, our references from leading pharmaceutical companies stated that the industry is struggling to adopt DCT best practices, which requires a suite of best of breed technologies for remote patient enrollment, data collection, and patient monitoring.
DCTs have been proven to be more efficient and cost effective than in-person clinical trials. According to a study by the Tufts Center of Drug Development, DCTs finish 1-3 months quicker than traditional trials, yielding significant cost efficiencies and faster time to market that could generate increased revenue and, most importantly, deliver critical drugs to those in need more quickly. DCTs are a relatively new model which have experienced rapid adoption in the past 2 years, partly due to COVID-19 and partly due to the rapid growth of new digital therapeutics that are delivered in the home. It is estimated that approximately 1,300 trials will incorporate a decentralized or virtual component in 2022 – a 28% increase over 2021 and a 93% increase over 2020.
Curavit uses best-in-class technology to help companies design and execute DCTs. Although the CRO space is quite crowded, there are very few providers who focus entirely on DCTs, and the large CRO incumbents have legacy processes that focus on in-person trials and have been slow to embrace DCTs. CROs that focus entirely on DCTs can be divided into two categories: open model and closed model. Closed model CROs have an internal technology platform that must be used alongside their service offering to design and operate trials. Conversely, Curavit’s open model allows clients to use existing technology investments and create a customized experience that fit the unique demands of a given trial. This gives Curavit a clear competitive advantage due to the company’s ability to adapt to a customer’s internal tech stack and get trials up and running without significant implementation time.
The company is led by a team of industry experts and medical professionals who have deep expertise in pharma services and clinical trials. Joel Morse (CEO) and Dave Hanaman (CCO) were the founders of C3i, a company that delivered tech-enabled services to the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, which successfully scaled to over 1,800 employees and ultimately sold to Merck in 2014. Joel and Dave co-founded Curavit with Pam Diamond (CMO), a renowned healthcare physician from the Harvard Medical network who brings over 30 years of clinical experience.
Curavit has the opportunity to take advantage of a large and growing market. The DCT market was valued at $8.8B in 2021 and is expected to grow to $14.2B by 2026. The company’s initial target market is digital therapeutics, which are well suited to DCTs as the therapeutic is delivered on the same device used for data collection. This is also a market that is exploding due to the overall shift to telemedicine and increased trust in digital therapies driven by the pandemic.
We are very excited to join many respected investors and industry experts to support Joel, Dave, Pam, and the Curavit team in their growth. These include Royal Street Ventures, Matt Wallach, co-founder and board member at Veeva Systems, and Clark Golestani, former global CIO at Merck. We look forward to partnering with Curavit to change the way the world does clinical trials.