As funding levels for the biopharma sector ratchet up without interruption, investors are increasingly betting on companies that are using technology to improve the efficiency and pace at which clinical research is carried out. Reify Health, which helps eliminate the delays of clinical trial processes while bringing trials closer to the patient, is proving no exception.
A new funding round has pushed Reify’s valuation to $2.2 billion, with three notable investors joining the shareholder base: Philippe Laffont’s tech-focused investment firm Coatue Management; ICONIQ Capital, known for its ties to tech billionaires including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; and global private market investment management firm Adams Street Partners.
The three firms completed a $220 million Series C funding in the business, led by Coatue. They join existing shareholders Sierra Ventures and Battery Ventures.
With the latest round, Reify has raised a total of $259 million to date, according to Aaron Weiner, who as a managing director at Coatue, leads the firm’s healthcare investing efforts in public and private markets. Weiner joined Coatue in February after four years on Blackstone’s healthcare investment team.
For Coatue, Reify fits within its current focus on “investing in what [the firm] thinks are innovative companies at the intersection of healthcare and technology,” Weiner told PE Hub. “We believe Reify is the leading company working toward transforming the clinical trial market.”
Reify, based in Boston, operates through two business entities: StudyTeam and Care Access.
StudyTeam is a technology platform that helps biopharma companies more rapidly enroll and recruit the most appropriate patients for trials, using both common methodologies and new, innovative strategies. Its reach spans 4,000 research sites across 65 countries, and it is used by top-20 global biopharma companies including Amgen, AstraZeneca and Lilly.
Care Access is known for making clinical trials more accessible, and conducting advanced decentralized trials at scale – a model that has been increasingly adopted amid the pandemic, and which is broadly viewed as here to stay. Through decentralized trials, technology or processes are used to bring clinical trial infrastructure directly to patients, healthcare providers and communities. By contrast, traditional clinical trials require patients to travel to physical locations.
Reify Health addresses an operational and logistical bottleneck the company refers to as “sit and wait”. It is trying to tackle the reality of slow and limiting clinical trials, which is ultimately thwarting the development of potential cures that patients with debilitating conditions are waiting on.
“If we want to consistently enroll trials in three to four months instead of 18 months, there are two key things we must achieve,” Ralph Passarella, CEO of Reify Health, said in a press release. “First, we must be able to rapidly identify enough interested patients. Second, we have to make it feasible for those patients to participate in the relevant trial.”
Starting in 2015, Care Access has made access more feasible by building 60 new research sites, the business’s CEO Ahmad Namvargolian said in the announcement. He said that it has launched mobile site vehicles that can bring trials anywhere in the US, with plans to expand into other countries.
Weiner added: “We believe that Reify has a unique opportunity to leverage its technology infrastructure to help provide decentralized trials and to help reduce patient recruitment timelines, a key pain point for both pharma and patients. We think Reify can become the partner of choice for the life sciences industry seeking to match patients with life saving therapies.”
In other notable investment activity this year supporting the technology-driven transformation of the clinical research industry, Thoma Bravo bought Riverside Co’s Greenphire in a deal valued at approximately $1.1 billion, sources familiar with the deal terms told PE Hub in May.
Greenphire, based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, streamlines payments between sites and sponsors or CROs throughout the clinical trial process; facilitates and automates payments to trial participants; and looks to improve patient participation by providing travel arrangements.
Elsewhere, Science 37, a decentralized clinical trial operating system, this month merged with LifeSci Acquisition II Corp as a means to ultimately go public. The deal assigned Science 37 an initial enterprise value of approximately $1.05 billion.