Irish medtech crowdfunds €1.2m in 12 days to roll out clinical trials platform

  • Irish digital health scale-up Akkure Genomics announced it has raised just over €1.2m in a crowdfunding campaign from 318 investors.

    The funding will be used by the company to accelerate the roll-out of its clinical trials platform with a view to launching into the US market in the next 12 to 18 months.

    This platform provides members of the general public with a means of leveraging their personal genetic and clinical data to match and participate in clinical trials relevant to their condition.

    The company, which used the Spark Crowdfunding platform, had set itself a 35-day target to raise €500,000 but passed the €1m mark in one week and completed the campaign in 12 days.

    Clinical trials are the principal method that medical researchers use to establish if a new treatment, such as a new drug or medical device is safe and effective in people.

    While over 280,000 clinical trials are performed annually around the world, 85% of them fail to enrol enough patients and 80% of them fail to finish on time, according to medtech site

    This is a major problem for an industry that is worth $60bn annually, a figure that is now growing considerably due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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    Akkure Genomics has therefore developed a clinical trials platform, using natural language processing and artificial intelligence (AI) to match patients with relevant clinical trials.

    By using both precision medicine and virtual trials the Akkure platform aims to increase both the recruitment and retention of patients which benefits both pharmaceutical companies performing clinical trials and patients seeking new therapies or cures.

    Simultaneously the company is deploying its patented robotic process automated telemedicine and clinical consultation technology to facilitate virtual and remote trial participation allowing global access for patients to clinical trials.

    Akkure Genomics was founded in 2019 by Professor Oran Rigby, a consultant in intensive care medicine and surgery and an associate professor of robotics and autonomous systems, along with Dr Amy Hollingworth, an Australian respiratory and lung transplant consultant specialist.

    The company, with a currently growing staff of 12, is headquartered at NovaUCD, the Centre for New Ventures and Entrepreneurs at University College Dublin (UCD) and has previously secured €1.3m in funding.

    This funding has been secured through the Disruptive Technology Innovation Fund (DTIF) and Enterprise Ireland.

    Professor Oran Rigby said: “To achieve a crowdfunding result of €1.2m in just over a week demonstrates the untapped desire for patients to begin to influence and partake in clinical trials, for the benefit of both themselves and their patient communities.

    “We will now begin to focus in earnest on offering these benefits and services to Irish charities, doctors and patient groups.”

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    Professor John Crown, a senior consultant medical oncologist and cancer trials expert at St. Vincent’s University Hospital was recently appointed Chair of Akkure’s Medical Research Board. 

    He congratulated Akkure and said its "focus is to empower patients, and this exciting collective investment has given us an opportunity to acquire a part of a new next generation digital infrastructure for genomic and precision medicine clinical trials.”

    Last year Akkure Genomics developed and launched the COVIDMedBot, a free online COVID-19 self-assessment tool, which to date has been used by approximately 90,000 people.

    In December 2019 the company, along with FutureNeuro, the SFI Research Centre for Chronic and Rare Neurological Diseases hosted at RCSI, Microsoft Ireland and Ergo secured €3.9m in funding through the DTIF.

    They secured this funding towards a €6.3m project to develop a blockchain and AI-enabled stratified trial system which aims to better recruit and reward patients for international clinical trials and data sharing. Akkure has sole commercialisation rights for this technology project.

    Equity crowdfunding allows hundreds of small and medium sized investors to purchase shares in early-stage companies. It operates in much the same way as Dragons’ Den where companies pitch for investment and the ‘crowd’ decides if it wishes to invest or not.

    RELATED: 5,000 people use free Irish COVIDMedBot within two days of its launch

    For further information about Akkure Genomics visit

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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