Healthtech startup Castor lands €10.1 million to further support COVID-19 research

Amsterdam and Hoboken-based Castor a leading provider of clinical trial technology that automates the research process, has announced that it has raised around €10.1 million in funding. The round was led by Two Sigma Ventures with participation from Hambrecht Ducera Growth Ventures and existing investor INKEF Capital. Castor will use the funding to further invest in enabling patient-centric, data-powered clinical trials.

Founded in 2011, Castor is a cloud-based clinical data platform that simplifies the clinical trial process, from recruitment to analysis, for researchers globally. It’s used by more than 50,000 users across academia and commercial research, powering more than 4,000 studies with more than 2 million enrolled patients across 90 countries. 192 medical device, biotech, and pharmaceutical companies and contract research organizations (CROs) are using Castor’s platform.

Castor made its platform freely available for all non-profit COVID-19 research starting in February. They are one of the only providers that can enable large-scale decentralized trials to accelerate the work of researchers who are trying to combat the disease. More than 200 COVID-19 projects across 33 countries are currently running on the platform, including the World Health Organization’s global Solidarity trial. Through their platform, more than 10,000,000 COVID-19 data points have been captured and 50 COVID-19 projects have committed to making their data reusable and accessible to others, so that the world can collaborate effectively to stop the disease.

“There are three key challenges that need to be addressed in the clinical trial space: making research more patient-centric, maximizing the impact of data on human lives, and better addressing the needs of underserved communities,” said Derk Arts, MD, PhD, CEO and founder of Castor. 

“With this new investment, we will be able to make significant progress in all three areas by continuing to deliver user-friendly, accessible technology that can support remote trials, while ensuring machine-readable output that allows for trial automation and data reuse. In the next 18 months we intend to support our customers with patient recruitment and synthetic control arms, through better use of their data. We are excited to partner with Two Sigma Ventures, who bring extensive experience in leveraging the power of data and AI to disrupt incumbent industries.”

Castor will use this new funding to further strengthen its support for patient-centric, remote trials and to enable customers to maximize value from existing and newly generated data throughout the clinical trial process. 

Villi Iltchev, Partner at Two Sigma Ventures, commented: “We believe that the life sciences industry is lacking a comprehensive and scalable solution for recruiting candidates for clinical trials, managing the research process, and effectively harnessing the vast amounts of data those clinical trials produce to drive medical breakthroughs. Castor’s technology and team have the ability to meet all of those needs as evidenced by their customer demand and ability to enter new segments. It is our belief that their vision to enable AI and automation in clinical trials will quickly change the face of clinical research.”