goBalto raises $5M to help pharma better manage clinical trials

By: Aditi Pai | Mar 3, 2014        

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goBaltoSoftware company goBalto has raised $5 million from existing investors Aberdare, West Health, EDBI, and Qualcomm Health. goBalto has raised close to $18 million to date.

GoBalto’s main product, Tracker 2.0, offers clinicians a software-as-a-service clinical research platform for “study startup”, which is the process of collecting, reviewing, and approving hundreds or thousands of clinical documents needed in a clinical trial. Tracker 2.0 also helps researchers track milestones during a trial, provide document workflow management, and create a to-do list of required activities.

GoBalto CEO Sujay Jadhav told MobiHealthNews a lot of the company’s previous investments went into the product and the engineering side of the company to support the initial set of customers it had. The company plans to use the new funds to increase its customer services team because goBalto’s “billion dollar plus customers” are looking to deploy goBalto’s technology within their overall enterprise, and also expand its sales team.

“As an example, we recently hired a Senior VP of Services, Elliot Zimmerman, who has experience working for enterprise software companies, and also selling to the life sciences space, but managing customer service organization,” Jadhav said. “That’s one part of it, which is the customer services side, and then the second part of it is on the sales and marketing side, ramping that part of the house up. So basically it’s more towards the scaling part of the organization.”

The company has also developed mobile apps for its customers.

“A lot of our customers and the users use via desktop but also via iPads as well,” Jadhav said. “What we find it it’s particularly also within the executive community. Given that they’re on the road quite a bit, in terms of the way they look at the status of a particular study, they pull up a report on a particular application, and what we’re seeing more and more now is that they’re doing that via iPad.”

Jadhav added that actual users of the system, such as members of the clinical teams and employees inside the organizations are also starting to move from desktop to mobile devices, but it’s a slower transition than executive adoption.

goBalto has two different types of customers — the contract research organization (CRO) and the pharma organization. So far, goBalto’s key customers are Inc Research and Icon for CRO and Novartis and Shire for pharma. Jadhav said these customers have run multiple studies through goBalto’s offering, and are now planning to scale the offering across a majority of their studies. It’s typical for a company to try out the product for a few initial studies with the goal to eventually run all of its studies on the program, according to Jadhav.

Jadhav said the early part of the trial, which is the “study startup” part of the process, is an area which has been more or less ignored in the clinical trial software market. He said people typically use Microsoft Excel and a word document to complete that aspect of clinical trial research. While there may be existing software applications that companies use, Jadhav believes there’s a market opportunity in automating the “study startup” part of the process.

goBalto is also considering offering researchers a database in which to check the feasibility of clinical trial sites. This feature offers offers users the ability to mine goBalto’s databases so that they can select the right sites for their trial.