Extrapolating the current growth in Germany, specialist search engine Viomedo could reach 100,000 monthly users in the beginning of 2017. Being fully operational for only half a year, this would be a sign for nothing less than – as Viomedo’s pharma partners would call it – a huge unmet need.
The Berlin-based start-up is developing an online marketplace that aims to bring drug developers and patients together to push-start clinical trials as early as possible. Recently, US pharma major Pfizer decided to collaborate with Viomedo. The company plans to list all clinical trials conducted in Germany on the platform.
Of course, Pfizer is not the only one that has discovered the benefits of digitisation for recruiting clinical study participants. One year ago, Viomedo was picked by German pharma Bayer Healthcare AG for its proprietary start-up accelerator programme, Grants4Apps. Bayer’s support obviously had a positive impact. Viomedo founder and CEO Alexander Puschilov told EuroBiotech that his company successfully raised some venture capital and is about to leave Bayer’s shelter to move into its own premises this autumn: “We are now growing quickly and have significantly expanded the team.”
So far, 150 investigators have registered with Viomedo and participated in recruitment campaigns in Germany. Besides pharma companies like Pfizer and Bayer, many publicly funded investigator-initiated trials also chose to be listed at what Puschilov hopes will evolve into the “central destination for patients who are interested in innovative treatment options”.
Patients have free access to all trials in the database and investigators are also cozened with free-of-charge trial registration. Viomedo charges commercial partners for two extra services. For “Active Recruitment”, the start-up runs campaigns for that specific partner trial across all channels. A patient-friendly trial description and a pre-screening eligibility survey ensures recruitment of as many eligible patients as quickly as possible across all sites. Viomedo charges a success-based fee on a per-referred and validated patient basis and receives a bonus when that patient is randomised. „AllTrials“, the other service, has been booked by Pfizer. Here, the start-up provides sponsors a platform to make all their trials available and accessible to the local audience. Sponsors can link to their own trials only or to their own trials per indication and zip code.