Comprehend Systems, a US-based company that offers clinical-trial sponsors cloud-based tools for data insights, has raised US$8.4 million in a Series A funding to develop further its Comprehend Clinical platform through a partnership with Sequoia Capital.

The Series A round was led by Sequoia with additional support from Aaron Levie, Nils Johnson, Zod Nazem, Zorba Lieberman and the Life Science Angel Network, among others.

Warren Hogarth, partner at Sequoia Capital, will represent the venture capital firm on Comprehend’s board of directors.

Comprehend Clinical pulls together clinical and operational data from different systems, making it easy for life-science executives, study mangers, clinicians and others to track and analyse trials.

Outdated tools

“Clinical trials are increasing in complexity but the tools to manage and analyze the data are outdated,” Hogarth commented.

“Comprehend’s simple and tailored approach provides real-time insights and facilitates collaboration that helps researchers make more informed decisions about their data, save time and money, and bring a drug to market faster,” he added.

Founded in 2010 by a team of entrepreneurs with combined experience in clinical research and software development, and based in Palo Alto, California, Comprehend launched an online self-service portal earlier this year to streamline access to clinical- and operational-data analysis.

Last month the company formed a partnership with clinical-system specialist Merge Healthcare’s eClinical Solutions division.

The relationship enables Merge’s customers to conduct real-time data analytics and visualisation across multiple studies tracked within the company’s clinical-trials platform, eClinical OS.

Continue to struggle

“The pharma and biotech industries continue to struggle to maximise the capabilities of modern technologies in a data-driven world,” said Rick Morrison, chief executive officer.

Contract research organisations and trial sponsors need “innovative, real-time, cost-effective ways to review their data and make smarter decisions”, Morrison added.

As Comprehend Systems moves into its next phase of growth, “we will continue to address these challenges through powerful and user-friendly tools that provide meaningful, actionable insights”, he promised.