Paradigm Launches with $203M to Transform Clinical Trial Recruitment

A new startup co-incubated by ARCH Venture Partners and General Catalyst launched last week with $203 million in Series A funding.

The New York-based company, called Paradigm, is focused on improving patients’ access to clinical research. Its financing was led by ARCH and General Catalyst, with participation from F-Prime Capital, GV, LUX Capital, Mubadala Capital, Magnetic Ventures and the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge.

“Our team has been convinced of the need for a paradigm shift in clinical research for years, especially with a focus on improving equitable access. Our name reflects the change that we want to create and signifies the boldness of our approach,” CEO Kent Thoelke said in an interview.

Thoelke has spent decades overseeing the clinical trial process — his most recent role was chief innovation officer at clinical research organization ICON.  In his view, there are two key challenges that clinical trials face today. The first is that study participants rarely represent the diversity of the population, and the second is that lengthy trial timelines create excessive costs for study sponsors. 

Paradigm plans to improve equitable access to trials by creating a less fragmented and more efficient clinical research ecosystem. The startup is building a clinical trial data and patient-matching platform that promises to simplify things for providers, researchers and pharmaceutical companies.

The company’s platform automates the movement of study data. It also “ensures that trials are designed to encourage inclusiveness and diversity in participation so that the trial population adequately represents the population that may eventually use the commercial drug,” Thoelke declared.

Additionally, Paradigm’s platform brings clinical trials to community provider organizations and accelerates recruitment so that any physician is able to offer their patients the opportunity to participate in a trial, he said. 

“We envision a durable, compliant research infrastructure that reduces burden on physicians and research staff, and ultimately makes it easier to consider clinical trials as a care option for eligible patients,” Thoelke said.

Paradigm’s technology is currently deployed for oncology clinical trials in the U.S., he declared.

Both healthcare providers and trial sponsors use the startup’s platform, but Paradigm does not charge health systems for access to its technology and services, Thoelke said. Instead, the company’s customers are trial sponsors —  primarily pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies — looking to conduct trials more efficiently and equitably.

So how will the startup differentiate itself from other clinical trial data platforms like Clario or patient recruitment companies like Clara Health? Thoelke said he’s not too concerned about competition.

“Clinical trials are expensive, slow and  too burdensome on patients and providers. We are one of several companies working on solving problems in this space, and we hope that many companies are successful. If there is a competitor, it is the status quo,” he declared.

Investors believed in Paradigm’s mission as well. The startup’s Series A is the third biggest funding round to take place in the healthcare sector so far this year, following kidney care startup Monogram Health’s $375 million round and healthcare staffing company ShiftKey’s $300 million round.

In addition to completing its hefty funding round, Paradigm also recently acquired Deep Lens, an Ohio-based oncology patient recruitment startup.

Photo: Warchi, Getty Images