Enrolling patients in clinical trials can be frustratingly slow and difficult, because not everyone lives near the academic research centers running those trials and it can be hard for very sick patients to travel.

So clinical research firm Science 37 is trying to streamline the process.

The Westchester company uses its digital platform, NORA, to enroll and monitor patients for clinical trials from anywhere in the country, easing geographic limitations.

Science 37 handles all aspects of trial enrollment, including online and other outreach efforts to find eligible patients, who might not otherwise be aware they qualify to participate.

The year-old company may soon bring its platform to more trials involving a greater number of patients. On Oct. 20, the company closed a $6.5 million series A round co-led by New York venture capital firm Lux Capital and investment company dRx Capital AG, run by San Diego telecom maker Qualcomm Inc. and Swiss pharmaceutical giant Novartis AG.

Science 37 had been bootstrapped since launch, funding its operations with revenue from client contracts, including a large device maker and pharmaceutical firm, said co-founder Dr. Noah Craft, who declined to disclose their identities.

“We’re unlocking access to clinical trials to patients who don’t normally have access,” said Craft, an LA Biomed clinical researcher and clinical associate professor of dermatology at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine. “We use technology to bring the entire trial to a patient at home.”

Overcoming patient trust issues can be another barrier to enrollment, so Science 37’s platform includes a mobile app interface that patients use to monitor their participation and remotely connect with the trial’s researchers and nurses, who sometimes make in-home visits.

“We call ourselves high tech, high touch,” Craft said. “When a first-time patient puts their name into the recruitment form on our website, they can get a call from a highly trained coordinator within an hour and usually a principal investigator the same day.”

Though Science 37’s platform can be used anywhere, Craft said he hopes it will help to grow L.A.’s life sciences and tech scene in particular.

“There’s a bubbling frenzy of activity around L.A.,” he said. “We can help accelerate these entrepreneurs’ exciting business ideas.”

Background Check

If you were hiring a nanny to haul your kid around all summer, wouldn’t you want to know if their driving record is clean?

That seemingly sensible logic was part of the reason Dan Kim last month launched CaregiverChecks.com, a background check service for making sure nannies, elder care aids and tutors are indeed who they say they are.

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