Limerick’s Teckro raises $25m to speed up clinical trials to fight complex diseases

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Teckro CEO and founder Gary Hughes

Teckro CEO and founder Gary Hughes

LIMERICK company Teckro has raised $25m in funding that it says will help it speed up clinical trials to fight world’s most complex diseases.

The company, founded and headquartered in Limerick city with offices in Dublin and in Nashville, said the fresh round of financing would accelerate its aim of helping to bring drugs and treatments to market quicker and more efficiently.

The life sciences company, which operates out of the Bank Building in the city, has developed specialist software for clinical drug trials.

Teckro’s total funding now stands at $43m - around €38.2m. It uses machine learning technologies to improve the speed and accuracy of clinical trials and works with some of the world’s top pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

It has grown rapidly since it was founded by brothers Gary and Nigel Hughes and Jacek Skrzypiec in 2015. The founders sold their previous company Firecrest to global clinical research giant ICON plc in 2011.

“Despite all the talk of digital transformation, the actual experience of participating in a clinical trial if you are a doctor, research nurse or patient has changed little in the last 20 years,” said CEO and founder Gary Hughes after the Series C funding announcement.

“The industry still relies heavily on paper, on working off retrospective data, and there is still an over-reliance on sending CRAs to busy research sites. This approach, together with the plethora of point solutions that get ‘bolted on’, only adds to the complexity and disjointed experience of research sites and patients.

“Our vision is to be at the centre of all site and patient interactions in a clinical trial. We are building a new digital infrastructure and toolset for clinical research that makes the conduct of trials simpler, more transparent and more inclusive.

“Ultimately Teckro is about ensuring that effective drugs are efficiently and effectively moved from the lab to the patient so that lives be saved.”

Teckro has users in over 80 countries, up from 30 countries at the time of a previous funding announcement of $10m in August 2017. It employs over 100 staff across its three global bases including its global headquarters in Limerick, where it has around 70 employees.

The $25 million Series C round was led by Northpond Ventures with participation from Founders Fund, Sands Capital Ventures, Bill Maris’ Section 32 venture fund and Borealis Ventures.

“Teckro is building a digital infrastructure which can transform how clinical trials are conducted. We are excited by the team and what they have achieved to date and look forward to supporting them on this important mission,” said Michael Rubin, M.D., Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Northpond Ventures.

Gary Hughes has previously told the Limerick Leader: “We have always been big believers in the potential of Limerick city centre which is why we set up here.

“Teckro’s plans are ambitious and they come with a real passion for improving clinical research,” said Gary.