Florence Healthcare, a startup in the Advanced Technology Development Center’s ATDC Signature portfolio of companies, said it successfully raised $1.7 million in its capital raise in its seed round.
The company’s solutions automate work at clinical trial sites and in turn shorten the time it takes for new therapies to reach patients. The seed round includes Bee Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Dartmouth’s Green D Angel Fund, and Fitbit exec and healthcare entrepreneur Will Crawford.
Since launching in January, usage of Florence’s eBinder has increased more than 150 percent month over month. Ahead of the funding, Florence secured agreements with some of the largest institutions in drug and device development: University of California, San Francisco, Mt. Sinai, and Sloan Kettering’s PCCTC Cancer Research Center. Florence’s success centers on an SaaS tool that transforms a paper auditing process into instant digital access, eradicating a $10 billion industry pain point.
“The work underlying a clinical trial has tripled in volume AND complexity since 2000,” said Ryan Jones, Florence co-founder and CEO. “Unfortunately, the majority of software innovation in the space has skipped over the clinics and trial sites that see the patients. That’s where we start.”
Clinical trials depend on a two-sided network: drug and device companies launch the trials, and research centers and clinics carry them out. About $35 billion is spent on clinical research logistics across this network each year, and $10 billion of that amount is spent auditing old-fashioned paper documents.
Historically, drug and device companies would specify software that met the automation needs on their side of the network, which left clinics to fend for themselves, Jones said. In contrast, Florence solves the biggest problems at the clinical edge of the network, and by freeing those bottlenecks, helps the sponsor side too.
Florence offers solutions via this approach to the entire clinical research ecosystem: research centers, pharmaceutical and device companies and contract research organizations (CROs).
“We’ve reached a unique time in clinical research where competition for the best trial sites, and the workload at those sites, has reached a peak,” Jones said. “By empowering sites with workflow software, we help clear data access logjams that can cost sponsors millions of dollars in delay when it comes time to launch a new therapy.”