Startups

With the help of software, NoVa’s Jeeva wants to increase access to clinical trials

The Manassas, Virginia SaaS company is making it easier for remote patients to connect with clinical trial data.

Virginia founder Harsha Rajasimha sees clinical trials as a crucial piece of the healthcare puzzle. But not everyone gets to take advantage of them.

Before he launched a startup, Rajasimha was just an older brother who had watched his brother deal with diabetes for over a decade. But his India-based sibling was unable to find a clinical trial to take part in, as the majority take place in Europe and the US.

“Clinical trials, which are essentially at no cost to patients as their sponsor pays for the cost of the clinical trial, are, by definition, better than the standard of care,” Rajasimha told Technical.ly. “Instead of relying on the insulin injections once a day or twice a day, you can actually find something better than that option.”

To help, he created Jeeva Informatics Solutions, a Manassas, Virginia-based SaaS company for clinical trials that just received an investment from Virginia Innovation Partnership Corporation’s (VIPC) Virginia Venture Partners. Clinical researchers, public health organizations, contract research organizations and biotech and pharmaceutical companies can use Jeeva’s cloud platform to recruit patients. Meanwhile, the company’s software helps with remote patient screening, data collection, patient engagement, regulatory compliance and IT security without relying on additional hardware or technology. This helps with workflow, Rajasimha said, and increases access to clinical trials.

Making clinical trials more online-compatible, he thinks, can increase the number of patients and lead to fewer dropouts. The Jeeva configuration can also be used for multiple years as trials, which last about 18 months on average, can go as long as five or 10 years. The Jeeva platform can be licensed directly by a biopharma or clinical research institution, as well, and create a patient registry for use.

Rajasimha thinks that making this more accessible will mean more data is available to patients considering trials.

“Patients don’t have the motivation to take time off from work and go to a clinical trial site without any potential return on their time investment,” Rajasimha said. “So it becomes critical that we have access to a platform like Jeeva that can enable the creation and maintenance of these data collection studies over a long period of time, with or without treatment being part of the protocol.”

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Jeeva’s 20-person team built the platform in its entirety by creating the initial product before converting it into a scaleable product on the cloud. The platform and database were built on Python and React.

The team has been hard at work creating the minimum viable product over the past three-and-a-half years. It now hopes to grow for global adoption with the new funds. Rajasimha added that Jeeva has also established partnerships with research organizations in the US, South America and India.

But he doesn’t plan on stopping there. In addition to the $300,000 the company received from VIPC, he is continuing to raise another $400,000 over the next two to three months. Overall, the funds will be used for growing and expanding the company as well as building additional technology — especially for more diverse user pools. Jeeva’s product is currently built primarily for English-speaking populations, so he hopes to expand its offerings to be more inclusive.

“That’s what we will be focusing on in the next phase of our company’s growth: making the platform more inclusive of diverse patient populations,” Rajasimha said.

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