‘A Look in the Labs’ is an Information Age series profiling the high-growth startups based in our labs – what they do, their ambitions, and the advantages they’ve gained being based at the ACS Innovation Labs.
This week, we speak with Maree Beare, founder and CEO of Clinials.
CEO Maree Beare
Based at River City Labs, Brisbane
What does your business do and how does it help people/other businesses?
Clinials helps pharmaceutical researchers create life-changing treatments by accelerating participant recruitment and automating eligibility.
Clinials is providing efficiencies in the $47 billion clinical trials market. In Australia, 80% of clinical trials are delayed or closed because of problems with recruitment, impacting our competitiveness in the global market with lost potential revenue between $600k and $8m for each day a trial delays a product's development and launch, impacting life-saving treatments never making it to market.
In 2021 there were over 365,000 registered clinical studies. As the testers of new drugs and treatments, patients are crucial to medical investigations.
With the aid of Clinials, pharmaceutical researchers can accelerate the participant recruitment for global trial locations and automate the process of determining eligibility, using AI to help researchers communicate medical information to patients in plain language, solving the problem where 30 per cent of patients are unable to provide meaningful responses during recruitment.
How did the idea for your business come about?
Throughout my career, I've witnessed a disconnection between patients and the healthcare system leading me to create the personal health management platform Wanngi in 2017. In 2021 I saw how this disconnect impacted clinical trials when my husband enrolled for a study and the process was a frustrating experience.
I was ideally placed to make an impact on the gigantic problem of participant recruitment for clinical trials with the eyes of an innovator and digital healthtech background. I was able to see the disconnect between patients' perspectives and the amazing work of researchers and founded biotech company Clinials.
Was being an entrepreneur always one of your life’s goals and what have you learned about being an entrepreneur?
As a lifelong technologist, entrepreneurship came naturally to me. However, just like a new job, understanding how to survive as a startup and scaleup company comes with a new skillset. Being an entrepreneur has taught me the importance of being patient, resilient, and persistent during difficult times.
What has been the biggest challenge and the biggest milestone for your business so far?
Clinials successfully received pre-seed funding in 2021 fueling our experimentation in-market, learning first (founder-led) sales strategies, how to work with customers and partners, channels suiting Clinials best, and what exactly our 'killer feature' is.
Where would you like your business to be in two years?
Clinials is scaling globally as we help support our global pharmaceutical customers in managing their multisite clinical trial locations. We expect that the Clinials platform becomes the platform of choice for global researchers to manage and automate their participant recruitment, leading to large university site licensing partnerships.
What is the best business or life advice you’ve ever been given?
I was told by someone to ''listen to your gut'' and here I am today, on a mission to globally enable clinical trials with a fast and efficient recruitment process, and support Australia to become the hub of conducting clinical trials globally.
What made you decide to move into the ACS Innovation Labs and how has it assisted your business?
As a member of the RCL Activate program, I moved into the labs with my first innovation Wanngi during the first year of the pandemic. By providing relevant programs for scaling a company and supporting Founders, RCL has supported my initial endeavors and pivoted to become global biotech company Clinials.
For more information on the ACS Innovation Labs, visit the websites of Harbour City Labs in Sydney, River City Labs in Brisbane, and Bay City Labs in Melbourne. If you're interested in joining successful Australian businesses in the ACS Innovation Labs, email firstname.lastname@example.org