Recruiting diverse patients for clinical trials is hard to do.

The Food and Drug Administration increasingly requires that drug trials are tested on population samples reflective of the people who will use the drug, according to Rebecca Springer, a PitchBook senior healthcare analyst.

Paradigm, a clinical trial technology startup, launched out of stealth with a $203 million Series A Friday with hopes to bring research trials to all US patients. The funding slots in as the eighth-largest early-stage healthtech VC deal ever, PitchBook data shows.

The New York-based company was conceived in 2021 by Arch Venture Partners, a prominent biotech VC, and was co-incubated by General Catalyst. Arch recruited CEO Kent Thoelke, who previously led innovation at clinical research organization Icon.

Most doctors don’t have the time and tools to match their patients to clinical trials, Thoelke said. That's in large part because clinical trials data is not integrated with electronic health records systems.

"What we're doing is creating a tech layer that sits across all of the [doctors], so that we can see healthcare records. We can then help them match patients to clinical trial criteria," Thoelke said. 

Paradigm is not the only startup trying to disrupt the antiquated clinical trial processes, which sometimes involve copying information manually from one system to another. Epic, an electronic healthcare records giant, announced in September its own clinical trials matching program. Other VC-backed companies in this space include Medable, a Silicon Valley startup that raised a $304 million Series D at a $2.1 billion valuation in 2021. 

But Thoelke hopes Paradigm will be the company that succeeds at "re-imagining the healthcare ecosystem," and for that, the company will need a lot more capital, he said. "This is a long journey.”

Paradigm's round was joined by other investors, including F-Prime Capital, GV, Lux Capital and Mubadala.

Featured image by Scott Cornell/Shutterstock

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