Circuit Clinical took the next step in a journey that is being closely watched in Buffalo recently when it closed its $29 million round of funding.
The company was founded by CEO Irfan Khan, a doctor who left his cardiology practice based on his belief that there is a better way to administer clinical trials.
Seven years later and the Buffalo-based startup has more than 70 employees as it seeks to expand its network across the U.S.
“This is a moment of transformational impact for Circuit,” Khan said. “We’ve worked hard to build a company that will now have a national footprint as it changes how patients can access clinical trials.”
The round was led by Denver-based Breakout Investment Partners. Major contributors included two big healthcare names, Medidata and Labcorp, both of which are startegic partners as Circuit Clinical seeks to expand with both pharmaceutical companies and physician groups.
Local investors include a group led by Chuck Lannon, Launch NY, the Western New York Impact Investment Fund and the Rochester Angel Network (a previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Buffalo Angels participated – they did not). Two venture capital firms, First Trust Capital Partners and Primark Capital, contributed as well.
Khan said senior adviser William Maggio helped with fundraising efforts.
Circuit Clinical’s business is a nuanced one. Clinical trials are administered onsite at major academic health centers – meaning that cutting-edge health care is limited by time, cost and access.
Khan has been seeking to build a model that takes those same trials and offers them through its network of physicians in their own offices. It requires a directory of the trials themselves (the pharma companies) and buy-in from the physicians (hospitals and other medical groups). Labcorp in particular is using the power of its own business to introduce Circuit Clinical to health care leaders around the U.S.
In the meantime, Circuit Clinical is developing a suite of digital tools that supports the entire process. Its TrialJourney platform, for instance, gives patients a chance to share their experiences in the trials.
To manage these concurrent projects, Khan is focused on building a leadership team, including recent hires of Dana Edwards as chief commercial officer and Dawn Furey as chief clinical operations officer. Furey previously worked in operational leadership at Johnson & Johnson, where she participated in the rollout of Operation Warp Speed, the Covid-19 vaccine development program.
Khan said more high-level hires are on the way.
“We’ve got incredible people joining the team who are saying, ‘Let’s go do something amazing together,” Khan said. “We’re on track to address the opportunities in front of us.”
Circuit Clinical, which won a 43North award in 2019, signed on for another year in 43North’s Seneca One Tower as its operational base. Khan said a long-term real estate decision is likely to come sometime next year.
Circuit Clinical is the fifth startup in Buffalo to confirm a growth-oriented capital raise this year. The other ones are HELIXintel ($3 million), Patient Pattern ($2 million), BetterMynd ($1 million) and AireXpert ($125,000).
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