Virtual clinical trials have increased by 10% since the emergence of COVID-19, pushing the global market to a current value of nearly $8 billion. Though the embrace of virtually conducted trial work has been a worldwide phenomenon, the U.S. has been the main hotbed of the surge.
Despite the pandemic’s stalling of many ongoing research efforts, the pharmaceutical industry adapted by tapping into remote monitoring, telemedicine, and decentralization as well as enabling apps to help track patient engagement. Accompanying that shift, CROs (clinical research organizations) were tasked with developing products and services to enable a smooth transition. AI technology played a pivotal role in expediting clinical trial processes and assisting with data synthetization. The companies leading the charge include ICON, Parexel, IQVIA, Covance, Thermo Fisher, LEO Innovation Lab, Huma, Medidata, and Oracle, among others.
CRO venture capital activity has also been booming. Deals made in the space tripled from 2018 to 2020; in the third quarter of 2020 alone, 10 venture capital deals were struck. Medable stands out as the venture capital cash champion with $524 million earned through various rounds since 2020, including a Series D totaling $304 million last October.