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.

“We looked at the market to see what else was available to the average family,” said Kim, whose Palms background check firm, Veritable Screening, launched the service. “It was definitely subpar, especially in relation to what we do on a day-to-day basis for corporations.”

Veritable Screening offers companies an online platform for running background checks on employees, confirming prior employment and education as well as delving into criminal history, motor vehicle records and credit reports if necessary. Unlike other nearly instant online services, Veritable Screening’s work can take a few days, but also involves a real person making phone calls and doing quality assurance.

Kim launched the firm two years ago and it now has more than 30 clients including the chemical division of South Korea’s Samsung and Koreatown’s Wilshire Bank.

He got the idea for CaregiverChecks when friends started asking if he could use his service to vet their nannies and tutors.

“Most caregivers frankly are complete strangers,” Kim said. “You spend 30 minutes to an hour with them and hand over your loved ones.”

CaregiverChecks leverages the same technology as Veritable Screening but simplifies the Web interface for consumers. The standard package runs $75, which Kim knows doesn’t sound cheap, though he thinks it pales in comparison with the money a family would shell out for a nanny, not to mention the peace of mind.

Checkups

Long Beach Memorial, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach and Community Hospital Long Beach have named Yair Katz as their new chief financial officer. …Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Echo Park added two board members: Earl E. Gales Jr. and Daniel Weinstein. …Century City’ Ritter Pharmaceuticals Inc. has hired Dr. AnnKatrin Petersen-Jappelli as its first chief medical officer…Medbox Inc. has appointed Manuel Flores to its board.

Staff reporter Marni Usheroff can be reached at musheroff@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 229.

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