Limerick-based life sciences technology company Teckro has raised $6m (€5.42m) in Series A funding led by Founders Fund — an early backer of firms such as Facebook and Airbnb.
Founders Fund is a leading Silicon Valley investment fund with a long track record of backing high potential companies that have gone on to record significant growth, including aerospace company, SpaceX.
It has now given its backing to Limerick-headquartered Teckro which has developed a software platform that streamlines clinical trials in the pharmaceutical industry.
Enterprise Ireland and a number of private investors also took part in the round.
The company has now raised a total of $7.8m of funding. Teckro chief executive Gary Hughes said the investment is a validation of the company’s unique approach to clinical testing.
“We set out to make a difference, to make it easier for drug developers, research staff and patients to connect, and to simplify every interaction in the conduct of a clinical trial.
"The funding will be used to expand our product development team as we continue to digitise clinical research services.
“Fundamentally, the clinical trial landscape has changed and physicians struggle with the current method of conducting clinical trials. The funding we are announcing today validates our unique approach, and the growth potential of the company,” Mr Hughes said.
Teckro uses information retrieval and machine learning technologies to improve the speed and accuracy of trial conduct. The technology has already been adopted by a number of pharma companies.
Founders Fund partner Scott Nolan said the mobile-first nature of Teckro’s technology caught the eye of the San Francisco-based fund.
“We’re really impressed by the Teckro team and their vision for clinical research. There’s a clear opportunity in modernising how clinical trials are run and Teckro’s mobile-first solution is informed by a firsthand understanding of the challenges involved in conducting global clinical trials,” Mr Nolan said.
The company was co-founded in June 2015 by Mr Hughes along with his brother and VP of business development, Nigel and chief technology officer Jacek Skryzpiec.
They were previously co-founders of Firecrest Clinical which was acquired by ICON Plc in 2011. Teckro is chaired by Peter Gray, former ICON chief executive.
The company’s headquarters is based in the landmark Bank Bar building on O’Connell Street in Limerick city. It also has offices in New York and Warsaw.
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