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Power pulls $12M to revamp clinical trial recruitment

Illustration of a hand pulling a 3D bottle of pills from a laptop screen.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Power, a clinical trial marketplace aimed at improving patient recruitment, raised $12 million in Series A funding.

Why it matters: Many patients report little to no knowledge of clinical trials, while researchers have difficulty identifying and enrolling appropriate participants.

What's happening: The Series A, led by Kin Ventures and Contrary, could last three to five years, co-founder Brandon Li tells Axios.

  • Power wants to put fresh funds toward creating a "full suite of solutions around owning the medical record for the patient collecting that record," he adds.
  • Insider Footwork also participated. Power raised a $7 million seed round in 2022.

How it works: Power users can browse clinical trials by condition, location and drug type and instantly see estimates of their eligibility.

  • The San Francisco-based company uses AI to simplify medical jargon in trial descriptions and links patients directly with researchers for follow-up questions.
  • "We like to call ourselves the Airbnb or Zillow of clinical trials," Li says.

What's next: Power hopes to leverage advancements in generative AI and large language models to analyze records and ideally save researchers time, Li says.

By the numbers: Per Li, more than 600,000 patients used Power to discover clinical trials last year.

The big picture: While recruitment for trials remains a challenge, there are also few resources for patients to access comprehensible information about ongoing clinical studies.

  • The main website tracking trials, Clinicaltrials.gov, is "a very poorly designed website" geared toward medical professionals, not consumers, says Kin partner Tina Hoang-To.
  • "Using AI and LLMs to gather and structure the clinical trials data, Power has streamlined and modernized the clinical trials process," she adds. "This allows patients on the platform to accurately and instantly self-qualify themselves."
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