On Pi Day, oncology clinical trial platform Pi Health launches with $30M

Steven Loeb · March 14, 2024 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/5833

While cancer rates increase, less than 10% of eligible patients participate in clinical studies

Cancer is on the rise worldwide: according to the World Health Organization, there will be over 35 million new cancer cases in 2050, a 77% increase from the estimated 20 million cases in 2022. Yet, when it comes to clinical studies, only 2% to 8% of eligible cancer patients participate.

"There are many reasons for this, which include lack of clinical trial availability in community health settings; often clinical trials are limited to large academic centers in cities and not available in communities where most people live. Also a lack of patient awareness and education, and technology gaps in healthcare ecosystems in identifying and enrolling patients efficiently," Bobby Reddy, MD, COO and co-founder of Pi Health, an oncology-focused health technology and clinical research company, told VatorNews.

"Pi Health's technology platform is designed to enable healthcare centers that were not previously doing clinical trials to participate because it mitigates the administrative burden barrier of entry while ensuring the quality of data and clinical trial conduct is optimal."

On Thursday, aka Pi Day, the company announced its launch as an independent company, along with a Series A funding round of over $30 million led by AlleyCorp and Obvious Ventures, with additional investments from Invus Capital and "leaders in oncology from across the globe."

Pi Health, which was first incubated as a subsidiary of BeiGene three years ago, has built what it calls Front-End Interoperable Capture Software (FICS), which connects life science sponsors and trial sites, automating manual processes so that data collection can be done faster, and at a higher-quality. 

For sites, FICS integrates with electronic health records (EHR) and hospital information systems to capture clinical trial data during patient care, using generative AI to automate clinical documentation from structured data so that physicians and nurses can spend more time with patients.

The technology also includes modules for patient pre-screening and recruitment to optimize trial enrollment and an integrated Clinical Trial Management System (CTMS) and an Investigator Site File (ISF) to refine trial coordination and simplify document management. Finally, it offers dashboards for real-time access to insights on trial progress and performance indicators.

"Our health system partnerships include oncology centers across the US, Brazil, Australia, and India. We intentionally selected a critical mass of rural and community site partners, which enables patients in historically underserved geographies to finally access trials," Reddy explained.

"We expect at least a 50% reduction in time and costs of clinical trials through the technology and services we support."

The Series A funding round will be used to expand Pi Health's partnerships with global trial sites and life sciences companies, while also developing its FICS technology.

"As our partnerships increase they will utilize our technology to help them accelerate their development of life-saving medicines cost-effectively," said Reddy.

"Our ultimate goal is to enable equal access to the highest quality of cancer care and clinical trials for all patients. Whether a patient is seen at a world-renowned, leading-research academic center or community practice in a rural region or a hospital in a developing nation, they have equal access to innovative medicines and novel clinical trials."

(Image source: pihealth.ai)

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