Health and research technology company uMed has raised £9.8 million in its latest venture capital funding round.
The raise is backed by Delin Ventures, AlbionVC, Playfair Capital and Silicon Valley’s 11.2 Capital and will be used to boost participation in clinical trials.
uMed founder and CEO, Dr Matt Wilson, said: “We developed the uMed platform to help healthcare professionals more easily and efficiently run patient research and targeted care programmes at scale, improving outcomes for patients by mitigating care gaps and accelerating research.
“Our groundbreaking patient cohorts give researchers access to unique data and insights, accelerating development and access to new therapies, while dramatically reducing the cost of finding, engaging and collecting prospective data from patients.”
The UK is facing a collapse in industry clinical trials, with patient access to industry clinical trials dropping by 44 per cent between 2017/18 and 2021/22.
Meanwhile, the number of trials initiated in the UK – including cancer trials – plummeted by 41 per cent in a similar time frame.
This is raising alarm about the future of clinical research in the UK and the potential impact on patient care.
uMed is tackling the issue by enabling healthcare providers in the UK, US and Canada to more easily participate in clinical research and care improvement activity without additional cost or burden to staff.
The uMed platform rapidly finds and engages suitable patients and collects prospective data to answer key clinical questions, while enabling GPs to generate additional revenue for their practice.
This falls in line with last month’s review by Lord O’Shaughnessy which urged the Government to provide financial incentives to GPs to help boost commercial clinical trials.
The latest funding round will extend the reach of uMed’s landmark cohort programme in Parkinson’s Disease, Access-PD, to several thousand patients globally by the end of 2023.
Access-PD, which already has over 350 participating patients in the UK via more than 130 GPs, is the first true population-scale research platform, closing the fundamental gap between the clinical data needs of researchers and their ability to access that data.
This is achieved by creating consented cohorts that integrate near real-time Electronic Health Record data with prospective data and biosamples captured from the patient at home.
Additionally, uMed is set to launch a Cardio-Metabolic Cohort and Lung Disease Cohort.
This will initially focus on interstitial lung diseases like pulmonary fibrosis which is being developed with US research charity the Three Lakes Foundation.
Dr Elango Vijakumar, National Research Lead at Modality Partnership, said: We’ve been working alongside uMed since 2019 to provide our patients with the opportunity to participate in multiple research programmes.
“Its management of patient identification and communication on our behalf allows us to be involved in cutting-edge research without compromising our focus on patient care.
Without the platform to take on the admin and workload, there simply wouldn’t be the capacity to take part.”
Since its seed round in November 2020, uMed has signed up more than 450 UK GPs representing five million patients, and has successfully recruited over 6,000 patients to clinical studies.
The US entry will be spearheaded by a partnership deal with digital healthcare company Innovaccer, opening up access to over seven million patients across the country.
This follows uMed’s inaugural Canadian partnership with clinician-led health tech company, MCI Onehealth.
These moves will be closely followed by a pipeline of deals including direct health systems access and additional channel partners which will give uMed access to over 10 million patients by the end of 2023.