Announcing Our Investment in Castor’s $12M Series A

By Villi Iltchev and Kyra Durko on August 19, 2020

We are excited to announce today we’re leading Castor’s $12M Series A.

When we first met the Castor team, their ambitious goal of making the world’s clinical research data machine readable and reusable immediately resonated with us. In the last ten years, the number of drugs approved by the FDA annually has continued to increase, but the time to take a drug to market has remained relatively unchanged (even as research and development costs have increased over 130%). Put simply, the technology powering the healthcare industry and research breakthroughs have continued to develop with the advancement of technology, but the infrastructure to unlock synergies in these two areas and accelerate the clinical trial process has lagged behind.

Our experience investing in drug discovery and healthcare platforms like Insitro, Kallyope, and Carbon Health has taught us that proper collection and organization of data is a crucial, but immensely challenging, driver of clinical success. Biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies all need methods of managing clinical data at scale to discover new drugs, understand their efficacy, and treat patients more efficiently, yet there has historically been a lack of software to do so effectively.

Castor is a provider of cloud-based clinical trial and data automation software that helps accelerate and simplify the research process globally, with a full suite of tools that power everything from patient recruitment to data analysis. Their platform is designed to enable researchers to easily capture, structure, and integrate data seamlessly from clinicians, patients, and electronic health record (EHR) systems. Not only does Castor digitize the steps in clinical studies traditionally conducted on pen and paper, but they integrate with the increasing number of digital devices and wearables collecting clinical data. It is the conversion of all this data into a machine-readable format that can enable collaboration across stakeholders and power compliant clinical trial automation meant to improve time to market for potentially world changing drugs.

The Castor platform was born out of Derk Arts’ MD, PhD, CEO and Founder, experience during his post graduate studies wrangling siloed information. Research and data was stored across devices, software platforms, and other research labs, making it impossible to capture clinical data efficiently. From early conversations with the Derk and the Castor team, it was clear that they have designed their product with their deep understanding of the user in mind. The product’s intuitive UI and functionality has sparked rapid adoption from the pharma, CRO, academic, and biotech communities. It is currently used by thousands of researchers around the world, powering over 4,000 studies across 90 countries, and tracking 180 million data points. Earlier this year, they also made their software freely available for non-profit COVID-19 research. They are one of the only providers that can enable large-scale decentralized and remote trials, and are currently powering 200 COVID-19 projects across 33 countries (including the World Health Organization’s Solidarity trial).

We’re thrilled to be partnering with Derk and the whole team at Castor on their mission to enable more patient-centric research, maximize the impact of data on human lives, and better address the needs of underserved communities. We are just scratching the surface of what’s possible with clinical trial automation and data reuse, and we look forward to working with their whole team to improve the flow of research data across the globe and deliver faster, data-driven, impactful clinical outcomes to the world. Read more about their Series A in Forbes today.

Note:  Insitro, Kallyope, and Carbon Health are Two Sigma Ventures portfolio companies.

The views expressed herein are solely the views of the author(s), are as of the date they were originally posted, and are not necessarily the views of Two Sigma Ventures, LP or any of its affiliates. They are not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, investment advice.