Biotech, pharmaceutical and life sciences companies all hope AI will streamline drug development and make it more efficient, and 38% have already adopted the technology, according to Deloitte. QuantHealth aims to take part with a model that predicts risks and outcomes for clinical trials.
The company's AI-powered platform for drug discovery claims to reduce potential risks, optimize clinical trials and help identify how patients in a clinical trial would respond to treatment. The Tel Aviv-based startup said Wednesday it had raised a $15 million Series A funding round, which brings its total raised to $20 million.
"With over 30 years of collective experience in life science and drug development, it was clear to us that the decreasing success rates of clinical trials were becoming untenable for the industry," co-founder and CEO of QuantHealth Orr Inbar told TechCrunch. Also citing Deloitte, he noted that returns on investment have declined to historic lows.
The differentiator claimed by QuantHealth's platform is one of the most extensive integrated datasets, which Inbar described as covering over 350 million patients and more than 700,000 biomedical graphs and clinical trials. The company says the resulting model can predict clinical trial outcomes with 86% accuracy on the binary endpoint metric. That means the company predicts success or failure for a trial's primary endpoint (or any other endpoint) 86% of the time.
More than 90% of traditionally planned clinical trials fail to make it to market due to lack of efficacy and safety, Inbar explained.
"Some drugs just shouldn't go to trial, and for many that should, the trials are poorly designed," Inbar said. "This causes the trials to take longer, cost more and fail more often."
In a recent case study, QuantHealth helped a client design their phase 2 trial in acute respiratory distress syndrome. "By simulating thousands of protocol variations, we were able to make minor amendments to their protocol that had far-reaching consequences — increasing the target population by 4.5x, reducing study duration by 11 months, reducing the number of participants required by 251, all while improving the likelihood of success of the primary endpoint by 16.5%," Inbar said.
Founded in 2020, QuantHealth, which has been commercially active for the last two years, works with pharma, biotechs and clinical research organizations, supporting their programs on an ongoing basis, as well as regulators in the U.S. and Europe.
In June, QuantHealth announced its U.S. expansion with executive appointments, including David Dornstreich as chief commercial officer and co-founder Arnon Horev as chief strategy and operations officer. The CEO said the outfit has 25 employees in Israel and the U.S., aiming to grow to 40 by next year.
Bertelsmann Investment and Pitango HealthTech co-led the Series A funding. Existing backers Shoni Top Ventures, Nina Capital and Nova Capital also joined in the latest round.
The new capital will enable the startup to support clinical development teams with its flagship trial design solution and expand its platform for preclinical and drug discovery functions, as well as expand its commercial team and operations.