Paradigm Launches With $203M to Democratize Clinical Trials

The platform will make it easier for community health providers to participate in clinical trials.
Written by Jeff Rumage
January 31, 2023Updated: January 31, 2023
Paradigm CEO Kent Thoelke
Paradigm CEO Kent Thoelke. | Image: Paradigm / Built In

Biotech and pharmaceutical companies can spend $2.6 billion over the course of 10 years to get a new drug through the clinical trial process, and research shows that women and people of color are underrepresented in those trials.

NYC startup Paradigm launched out of stealth on Monday with $203 million in funding, which it will use to grow its tech solution that could make clinical trials more efficient. The platform strives to make it easier for community health providers to participate in clinical trials, which would allow a wider swath of people to gain access to new therapeutic discoveries.

Paradigm’s CEO is Kent Thoelke, who was previously the chief innovation officer at ICON and the chief scientific officer at PRA Health Sciences. Thoelke said in a statement that the clinical research and drug development process is failing the people it’s meant to serve.

“Patients who might be best served with participation in a clinical trial often can’t get access or aren’t offered access to trials, research departments are chronically overburdened with significant barriers to entry created by trial complexity and, as a result, sponsors’ study timelines continue to lengthen at higher cost. The system is broken, and the human cost of inaction is unacceptable,” he said. “Paradigm is reimagining the entire drug development paradigm by upending the status quo and focusing on equitable access to clinical research at scale from the start.”

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Paradigm was conceived by ARCH Venture Partners and co-incubated by ARCH and General Catalyst. The massive $203 million Series A financing round was co-led by both VC firms and was joined by several other investors, including the American Cancer Society’s BrightEdge fund.

“Clinical research is ready for a reboot,” Robert Nelsen, co-founder and managing director of ARCH Venture Partners, said in a statement. “Today the system is broken in almost every respect — patient access is too narrow, incentives are misaligned and poor trial design slows development. We saw an opportunity to fundamentally rebuild the system and fix the business model.”

Paradigm will use its funding to expand its platform which allows community health providers to work more efficiently with clinical trial sponsors. The company also plans to scale partnerships with healthcare systems and life sciences companies.

In addition to the funding news, Paradigm also announced that it has acquired Ohio-based Deep Lens, a startup that recruits patients for oncology trials using electronic medical records and genomics data.

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