Glasgow tech firm CitrusLabs is aiming to match suitable volunteer patients with scientists testing potential Covid-19 treatments.
The company previously known as MindMate – whose database matches researchers with suitable subjects – clinical trials has helped with 200 clinical trials worldwide over the last five years.
Founders Susanne Mitschke, Patrick Renner and Roger Arellano started the firm after seeing the effects of illness such as cognitive decline on loved ones. Eighty-six per cent of clinical trials are held up by problems recruiting trial subjects.
CitrusLabs is offering its services for free to organisations and researchers trying to find vaccines and drugs to treat Covid-19.
Chief executive Mitschke, a former Glasgow Business School postgraduate, said: “We have developed a virtual circle through collaboration that benefits both our commercial partners, who get more patients in a more cost-effective manner, and patients who get secure access to the latest methods of treatment.
“Conditions like CovidD-19 affect so many of us, not only the sufferers but family, friends and the support systems around those suffering, and we want to be part of the team who find a vaccine and treatment.”
The co-founders are graduates of the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde. Their work has helped scientists researching treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and brain injury. CitrusLabs has raised $5 million from investors including 2048 Ventures, One Way Ventures, Mucker Capital and Launch Capital. Clients include Australian biotech firm Actinogen, University of Texas and the University of Washington.
CitrusLabs was the first Scottish startup to join Techstars NYC accelerator programme and this year, the co-founders were named as Allstars on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneurs list. The business has its US base in Santa Monica, California.
Renner, who studied with Mitschke at Glasgow and Vienna University of Economics, is the firm’s chief operating officer while Arellano, a Strathclyde graduate in innovation management, is chief technology officer.
Renner said: “At a time when patients are increasingly using apps and wearable devices to understand their condition, Citruslabs will play a crucial part in accelerating research all around the globe.”