Artificial Intelligence or AI is a wonderful tool that is being used in various sectors to accelerate development. Healthcare and medtech have also benefited from AI, be it discovering new drugs or helping healthcare professionals exchange information. Amsterdam-based Castor is one such startup that’s using AI to offer a cloud-based clinical data platform that simplifies the clinical trial process. The startup has now raised €10.13M in Series A to support COVID-19 research.
Furthering COVID-19 research support
Castor offers an Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system for medical researchers to help them easily capture and integrate high-quality data from any source on one compliant platform. It helps set up data capture forms, collaborate with colleagues, invite patients through questionnaires, import, export and analyse their data in a secure, compliant cloud environment, all without elaborate training or technical skills.
Back in February this year, Castor made its platform freely available for all non-profit COVID-19 research. This latest funding will help the company further extend their support for the research as they are the sole providers capable of enabling large-scale decentralised trials to accelerate the research. As per Castor, over 200 COVID-19 projects across 33 countries are currently running on their platform, including the World Health Organization’s global Solidarity trial.
Using Castor EDC, over 10,000,000 COVID-19 data points have been captured, the company says. Additionally, 50 COVID-19 projects will be making their data reusable and accessible to others, in order to improve collaboration for developing a vaccine for the coronavirus.
Funding to help Castor strengthen its support
Founded back in 2012 by Derk Arts, prior to the latest funding round, Castor EDS had secured a total funding of €6.4 million. In its latest Series A funding round, Castor raised a notable €10.13 million. The round was led by Two Sigma Ventures while Hambrecht Ducera Growth Ventures and existing investor INKEF Capital participated as well. The new funding will be utilised by the startup to strengthen its support for patient-centric, remote trials. It will also enable the company’s customers to maximise value from existing and newly generated data throughout the clinical trial process.
“There are three key challenges that need to be addressed in the clinical trial space: making research more patient-centric, maximizing the impact of data on human lives, and better addressing the needs of underserved communities,” says Derk Arts, MD, PhD, CEO & Founder of Castor. “With this new investment, we will be able to make significant progress in all three areas by continuing to deliver user-friendly, accessible technology that can support remote trials, while ensuring machine-readable output that allows for trial automation and data reuse.”
“In the next 18 months we intend to support our customers with patient recruitment and synthetic control arms, through better use of their data. We are excited to partner with Two Sigma Ventures, who bring extensive experience in leveraging the power of data and AI to disrupt incumbent industries,” Arts adds.
Image credits: Castor