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Irish start-up revolutionising clinical trials crowdfunds €1m in a week

Author: Nicole Glennon

Some 85% of clinical trials globally fail to enrol enough patients and 80% of clinical trials fail to finish on time

An Irish start-up that aims to solve systemic problems in the global clinical trials industry by matching patients with the most relevant clinical trials has raised over €1m in just seven days through crowdfunding.

NovaUCD based start-up Akkure set out to raise €500,000 at a pre-money valuation of €4m.

The firm has now raised double its initial target from almost 200 investors on Ireland’s first equity crowdfunding platform, Spark Crowdfunding.

Unlike conventional capital-raising methods for early-stage companies, which primarily rely on investments from a small group of professional investors, equity crowdfunding targets a broader group of small to medium-sized investors. In the case of Spark Crowdfunding, the average investment amount is less than €2,000.

Smaller investors can invest as little as €100 in a company.

Akkure co-founder Professor Oran Rigby said the achievement of raising €1m in just one week through Spark Crowdfunding demonstrates the untapped desire for patients to begin to influence and partake in clinical trials, for the benefit of both themselves and their patient communities.

“We have been overwhelmed by support and belief in our mission, a tremendous reflection of the exciting future opportunities Akkure will unlock for patient collectives seeking new cures and therapies at a precision level," he said.

The funds will be used to roll-out Akkure’s platform to hospitals, GP practices and clinics.

Some 85% of clinical trials globally fail to enrol enough patients and 80% of clinical trials fail to finish on time.

Akkure’s platform boosts enrollment and the chances of a successful trial with a more precise telemedicine network which personalises patient access and rewards those patients for sharing their data.

The platform’s data sharing system is also protected by blockchain technology, enabling doctors and patients to control clinical data rather than pharmaceutical companies.

The MedTech company was founded in 2019 by Professor Rigby, a consultant in intensive care medicine and surgery, and Dr Amy Hollingworth, a respiratory and lung transplant specialist.

Former senator and senior consultant medical oncologist Professor John Crown has recently been appointed as chair of the company’s medical research board.

The company had previously already secured €1.6 million in funding through the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund (DTIF), high-net worth medical investors and Enterprise Ireland.

Originally published on Irish Examiner


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