Israeli startup raises $15 million to drive US expansion of clinical trial simulator

QuantHealth says its AI platform can predict results with 86% accuracy and support the success of faster, cheaper drug discovery and development

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: A scientist sits at his desk and consults an engineer about sophisticated coding and programming at a computer science research laboratory. (iStock by Getty Images)
Illustrative: A scientist sits at his desk and consults an engineer about sophisticated coding and programming at a computer science research laboratory. (iStock by Getty Images)

QuantHealth, an Israeli startup that virtually helps pharma and biotech companies execute thousands of clinical drug trials within minutes, said Wednesday that it has secured $15 million to drive its US expansion.

The Series A funding round was co-led by Bertelsmann Investments, one of Germany’s largest venture capital funds and Israeli venture capital firm Pitango HealthTech. Current investors, including Israel early-stage venture capital fund Shoni Top Ventures, Barcelona-based health tech venture capital firm Nina Capital, and UK-based Nova Capital also joined the financing round.

To date, QuantHealth has raised a total of $20 million in funds from backers such as US private equity firm Boston Millennia Partners, Israeli investment family fund Atooro Fund and US investment firm Renegade Ventures.

Founded in 2020 by CEO Orr Inbar and CBO Arnon Horev, the Tel Aviv-based startup has developed a clinical trial simulator platform for drug discovery harnessing artificial intelligence technology to predict how each patient would respond to treatment. The platform helps trial teams in pharma, biotech and life sciences firms identify how clinical trials will play out in thousands of variations within minutes to optimize trial design and drug development.

The startup says its AI simulator, which is trained on a dataset of 350 million patients and over 700,000 therapeutics, can predict clinical trial results with 86% accuracy, allowing pharma and biotech firms answer critical questions, including cohort optimization, protocol feasibility and commercial viability.

On average, developing a new drug or finding a potential blockbuster medicine takes billions of dollars over almost a decade because of the lengthy trials and lab work involved in the process. Despite these investments and efforts, over 90% of drug candidates in clinical trials fail to make it to market primarily due to lack of efficacy and safety.

QuantHealth founders Orr Inbar (right) and Arnon Horev. (Courtesy)

“Some drugs shouldn’t go to trial, while many that do are sub-optimally designed,” the startup explains. “All this is causing trials to become increasingly longer, more expensive and less effective while patients aren’t getting the drugs they need.”

The adoption of AI in early-stage drug discovery and development could potentially create an additional 50 novel medications translating into a more than $50 billion sales opportunity over the next decade, according to research by investment company Morgan Stanley.

This is the market QuantHealth seeks to tap into with a platform that the startup says bridges major gaps in the research needed to support the success of clinical trials.

“We firmly believe that deep AI solutions like ours will dramatically enhance the success of clinical trials, and pave the way towards better and cheaper therapies for patients around the world,” said Inbar, who co-founded ConcertAI, a Boston-based healthcare data and precision medicine company and previously led AI teams in medical companies in Israel and the US.

QuantHealth said that the fresh funding will support the startup’s recently announced US commercial expansion and will also be used for product development of the platform that goes beyond clinical trials and into new deployments, including regulatory support and early R&D.

“The impressive AI technologies of QuantHealth have proven to save pharmaceutical companies millions, helping them bring drugs to market quicker and get patients the treatments they need,” said Thorsten Wirkes, Senior Vice President at Bertelsmann Investments.

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