Castor Raises $45 Million to Modernize the Clinical Trial Process

Castor, a clinical trial software provider, announced closing a $45 million Series B financing round, bringing the company’s total funding to $65 million.

Eight Roads Ventures and F-Prime Capital, with participation from existing investors, Two Sigma Ventures, and Inkef Capital, led the funding round.

The latest funding will fuel continued product development focusing on scaling direct-to-patient trials globally, the company said.

“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.”

According to the company, most clinical trials today require a long set-up time. They are conducted at brick-and-mortar research sites that make trial participation inconvenient for patients and leave researchers unclear about patient data in-between site visits. As a result, 38.7% of terminated trials were halted due to slow enrollment, and the cost of developing a drug has more than doubled in the last decade to $2.7 billion across a 12-year timeline, the company said.

Castor offers a self-service clinical research platform, enabling researchers 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 shift to decentralized clinical trials seamlessly, the company said.

Castor said it had supported over 7,500 studies in more than 90 countries to date. Castor works with customers such as the World Health Organization (which used Castor for its Solidarity Trial), digital therapeutics companies, and pharmaceutical companies.

“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.

Digital Health companies in the first half (1H) of 2021 raised $15 billion in VC funding. Funding activity was up by 138% during 1H 2021, compared to $6.3 billion raised in 1H 2020.