Castor, a leading provider of clinical trial software, announced today the closing of a $45 million Series B financing round, bringing the company’s total funding to $65 million.
The round, led by Eight Roads Ventures and F-Prime Capital with participation from existing investors Two Sigma Ventures and Inkef Capital, will fuel continued product development with a particular focus on scaling direct-to-patient trials globally.
“Castor was created with the mission to help researchers globally conduct more effective clinical trials while improving the patient experience,” said Derk Arts, M.D., CEO & Founder of Castor. “Prioritizing the patient and site user experience is particularly important today, when COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the nature of clinical trials.”
Most clinical trials today require a long set-up time and are conducted at brick-and-mortar research sites which make trial participation inconvenient for patients and leave researchers in the dark about patient data in-between site visits. As a result, 38.7% of terminated trials being halted due to slow enrollment¹, and the cost to develop a drug has more than doubled in the last decade to $2.7 billion across a 12-year timeline².
Castor offers a modern, self-service clinical research platform, which enables every researcher worldwide to design studies and integrate data from any source in real-time. Patients can enroll themselves in trials, consent and share their data online or via a mobile app, allowing the industry to seamlessly shift to decentralized clinical trials (DCT). These capabilities have been critical during the COVID-19 pandemic as Castor’s customers were able to quickly change their study designs and incorporate increased collection of remote patient data.
Since 2014, Castor has supported over 7,500 studies in more than 90 countries. Over the last 12 months, the company more than doubled in size and it has worked with customers such as the World Health Organization, which used Castor for its Solidarity Trial, and landed contracts with over 20 top-tier digital therapeutics companies and signed its first top 5 pharmaceutical company.
“COVID-19 forced the industry to change and required agility and customer centricity that Castor was uniquely positioned to deliver,” said Michael Treskow, Partner at Eight Roads Ventures.
“We believe that Castor’s visionary approach will significantly improve the quality of clinical research and we are excited to support Derk and the team as they continue to transform the industry on a global scale,” said Alex Pasteur, Partner at F-Prime Capital.
1. Williams RJ, et al. Terminated Trials in the ClinicalTrials.gov Results Database: evaluation of availability of primary outcome data and reasons for termination. PLoS One. 2015;10(5):e0127242.
2. J. DiMasi, et al. Innovation in the pharmaceutical industry: New estimates of R&D costs, Journal of Health Economics, Volume 47, 2016, Pages 20-33
Castor is a leading provider of decentralized and hybrid clinical trial solutions to democratize research. With the highest rated eClinical platform for decentralized and hybrid clinical trials, Castor’s plug and play platform offers rapid deployment at scale, enabling researchers to create a trial in a matter of clicks, with easy enrollment, consent and real-world data capture. Castor is bringing human-centered design to the clinical trial process, from recruitment to analysis, and improving the quality, security and reusability of data for researchers worldwide. For more information, visit www.castoredc.com.
About Eight Roads Ventures
Eight Roads Ventures is a global venture capital firm managing $7bn of assets across offices in the UK, China, India, Japan, and the US. Our 50-year history of investing includes partnerships with over 300 companies such as Alibaba, Appsflyer, BlackDuck, Cazoo, Chewy, Devoted Health, Flywire, Icertis, iPipeline, Kensho, Letgo, Made.com, Neo4j, Nuance, Paidy, Ping Identity, Pony.ai, Toast, Wallapop, WuXi PharmaTech, and Xoom.
About F-Prime Capital
F-Prime Capital is a global venture capital firm investing in healthcare and technology. For the past 50 years, our independent venture capital group has had the privilege of backing great entrepreneurs building groundbreaking companies.
With over $2 billion dollars under management and a global portfolio of more than 200 companies, we champion those dedicated to creating positive change in the world. In healthcare, we focus on therapeutics, medtech and health IT & services in a stage-agnostic fashion. Our healthcare fund has created or co-created 23 companies including Denali, Beam, Innovent, Orchard and Sana and has helped build many others including Blueprint Medicines, Iora Health, PatientPing, Devoted and Ultragenyx. F-Prime portfolio companies have seen more than 28 products and drugs approved by regulatory agencies worldwide. Our team of investors, engineers, doctors and scientists is committed to bringing the insight, domain expertise and relationships required to help our companies make a transformational impact.
F-Prime is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with offices in London, UK and San Francisco, CA.