Castor launches COVID-19 monitoring and research platform, and is supporting over 100 trials globally

April 2nd, 2020 by

Platform to facilitate rapid deployment of trials to test vaccines and treatments

 

Hoboken, New Jersey: April 2, 2020: Castor, a health-tech company that enables medical researchers to capture machine readable data to optimize medical decision making, announced the launch of its global COVID-19 monitoring and research platform to facilitate the rapid deployment of trials to test Coronavirus vaccines and COVID-19 treatments. After offering free access to their platform for all COVID-19 research projects in mid-February, Castor is now supporting over 100 studies. 

Castor’s platform includes an online enrollment portal for patients, an eConsent module, and a Symptom Tracker app, all integrated with Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system. This platform is freely available for everyone fighting COVID-19, including biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The platform was designed to be rapidly configured and deployed.

Following easy online enrollment and eConsent, patients are randomized in the EDC. Depending on country protocols, vaccines can then be shipped to enrolled subjects and administered in their homes. In addition, real-time dashboards enable study personnel to monitor the population and proactively reach out to patients who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. These patients could then be enrolled in further interventional studies or triaged in a hospital.

Launching the platform, Castor CEO Derk Arts, MD, PhD, said: “High-quality data and real-time access are critical in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to support the global research effort by launching a mobile-enabled solution that allows decentralized patient participation and remote monitoring of study participants. This will help reduce hospital crowding, protect staff, and prioritize patients that need to be hospitalized.”   

Craig Serra, Global Head of Strategy and Innovation, Data Operations at Novartis, and Castor Advisory Board member, added: “With increased disruption to clinical trials, it is essential for medical research to adopt methods for remote engagement and monitoring, outside of a clinical setting. Now is the time, more than ever, to stop talking about solutions and take action on them.”

Alongside this platform, Castor is supporting research into the disease by providing free access to their research data platform for all COVID-19 studies. By enabling large-scale decentralized trials, Castor aims to accelerate the work of researchers who are trying to combat the disease. Castor is currently supporting more than 100 COVID-19 studies across 10 countries. This includes research projects at the University Hospital Southampton in the UK, Policlinico Universitario A. Gemelli in Italy, Vall d’Hebron Research Institute in Spain, and UMC Utrecht in the Netherlands.  

Denise Van Hout, MD, an Epidemiologist and member of the team at UMC Utrecht using Castor to study COVID-19 preparedness of healthcare workers, added: “In the race to understand and develop treatments and vaccines for this disease, Castor’s platform is making a difference by supporting free research projects that can be rapidly built and deployed.”  
 
For more information about Castor and the COVID-19 monitoring and research platform please contact:

Castor

COVID-19 support team
covid19@castoredc.com

John Ambrose, Esq
Head of Marketing
john.ambrose@castoredc.com


Media & IR Enquiries

Optimum Strategic Communications 

Mary Clark/ Hollie Vile/Manel Mateus
Castor@optimumcomms.com
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3922 1906


NOTES TO EDITORS

About Castor 

Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and New Jersey, US, Castor is an international health-tech company founded by CEO Derk Arts, MD, PhD to leverage machine readable data to increase clinical trial efficiency. Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system enables every researcher worldwide to easily capture and integrate medical research data from any source in real-time, including clinicians, patients, devices, wearables, and EHR systems.

More than 40,000 researchers across 90 countries are using Castor to supercharge their research. Castor’s platform has supported more than 4,100 commercial and academic studies that cover a broad range of disease areas including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rare diseases, infectious diseases, and oncology. Researchers on the platform generate vast amounts of data from traditional and decentralized trials, and Castor recently reached milestones of 140,000,000 data points and 1,500,000 enrolled patients. Castor’s goal is to make the world’s research data reusable, enabling AI-driven clinical trials, and ultimately creating a future in which they maximize the impact of data through reuse.

In 2018 Castor raised $6.25m in funding from early-stage investor INKEF Capital in the Netherlands.

Castor encourages all COVID-19 researchers in need of standardized, high quality data to start their studies by registering here, and to visit their online academy to become familiar with the platform. The WHO-defined CRFs can be downloaded here.

Castor provides free access to data capture platform to support COVID-19 research projects

February 17th, 2020 by

Amsterdam, Netherlands and Hoboken, New Jersey:  February 17, 2020: Castor, a health-tech company that enables medical researchers to capture standardized data to support data driven medical decision making, announced that it will provide free access to its data capture system to all COVID-19 research projects.

On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the new airborne contagious coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 a.k.a 2019-nCoV), that causes the disease dubbed COVID-19, a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The WHO is providing technical guidance on how to conduct useful early investigations and has highlighted the need to assemble large amounts of accurate and usable data as quickly as possible.

Castor has developed and made available ready-for-use electronic Case Report Forms (eCRFs) based on the WHO standard CRFs, to help researchers start their study or registry in less than an hour, ensuring they capture high quality data to help drive the global research effort.

By ensuring researchers capture standardized data on Castor’s clinical data platform, clinical data from around the world can be easily aggregated. This approach can accelerate the work of researchers who are trying to understand the virus and disease. 

Commenting on the initiative, Castor’s CEO Derk Arts, MD, PhD, said: “When novel strains of viruses like the Coronavirus emerge, data quickly becomes our most valuable asset. On behalf of the team, I am proud to announce that Castor is joining the fight against COVID-19 by making our data capture platform available for free for all COVID-19 research projects.

“A standardized approach in collecting clinical data is critical in order  to better understand the natural history of disease and describe clinical phenotypes and treatment interventions (i.e. clinical characterization). For a global data collection effort to be truly successful, we need to go beyond standardized forms. The threshold for capturing these datasets should be as low as possible, to ensure anyone is willing and able to contribute valuable data.”

Castor encourages all COVID-19 researchers in need of standardized, high quality data to submit for a free billing code via support@castoredc.com, to start their studies by registering here, and to visit their online academy to become familiar with the platform. The WHO-defined CRFs can be downloaded here.

Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system enables every researcher worldwide to easily capture and integrate medical research data from any source in real-time, including clinicians, patients, devices and wearables. Researchers on the platform generate vast amounts of data from traditional and decentralized trials, and Castor recently reached milestones of 130,000,000 data points and 1,400,000 enrolled patients.

ENDS 

For more information about Castor please contact:

Castor
John Ambrose, Esq
Head of Marketing
john.ambrose@castoredc.com

Media & IR Enquiries
Optimum Strategic Communications 
Mary Clark/ Hollie Vile/Manel Mateus
Castor@optimumcomms.com

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3922 1906

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Castor 

Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and New Jersey, US, Castor is an international health-tech company founded by CEO Derk Arts, MD, PhD to leverage machine readable data to increase clinical trial efficiency. Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) system enables every researcher worldwide to easily capture and integrate medical research data from any source in real-time, including clinicians, patients, devices, wearables, and EHR systems.

More than 37,000 researchers across 90 countries are using Castor to supercharge their research. Castor’s platform has supported more than 4,000 commercial and academic studies that cover a broad range of disease areas including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rare diseases, and oncology. Researchers on the platform generate vast amounts of data from traditional and decentralized trials, and Castor recently reached milestones of 130,000,000 data points and 1,400,000 enrolled patients. Castor’s goal is to make the world’s research data reusable, enabling AI-driven clinical trials, and ultimately creating a future in which they maximize the impact of data through reuse.

In 2018 Castor raised $6.25m in funding from early-stage investor INKEF Capital in the Netherlands.

Website: www.castoredc.com

Twitter: @Castor

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/ciwit-b-v-

Castor Appoints Dr. Ben Cons as Chairman of the Supervisory Board

January 7th, 2020 by

Expansion of Supervisory Board Supports Global Growth Strategy

 

Amsterdam, Netherlands and Hoboken, New Jersey:  January 8, 2020: Castor, a health-tech company that aims to leverage machine readable data to increase clinical trial efficiency, announced the appointment of Ben Cons, PhD as Chairman of its Supervisory Board. Dr. Cons joins an existing Board of seasoned executives and specialist investors.

Dr. Cons has more than 30 years’ experience in pharmaceutical R&D and commercialization in the biotech, pharmaceutical and financing sectors. A prominent leader in global healthcare and technology, Dr. Cons has 20 years of experience with the NYSE-listed pharmaceutical services company IQVIA and its associated investment fund NovaQuest. Currently, Dr. Cons is a Special Partner at the private equity fund Vitruvian, and a NED at Talking Medicines Ltd, Fluidic Analytics Ltd, and Immune Regulation Ltd. He is also an investment member of private capital group, 24Haymarket and an investment panel member at Future Care Capital, a charity focusing on future health and social care policy.

He joins Supervisory Board members Corné Jansen, Partner at INKEF Capital, Mark Slaughter, founder of Cohealo and Commercial Head of Pharma Solutions at Philips, and Thijs Cohen Tervaert, Director at INKEF Capital – all working in partnership with Castor’s management team to continue its global growth, with the aim of making the world’s research data reusable, enabling AI-driven clinical trials, and ultimately creating a future in which they maximize the impact of data through reuse.

Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) platform enables every researcher worldwide to easily capture and integrate medical research data from any source in real-time, including clinicians, patients, devices and wearables. Researchers on the platform generate vast amounts of data from traditional and decentralized trials, and Castor recently reached milestones of 110,000,000 data points and 1,300,000 enrolled patients.

Dr. Cons, newly appointed Chairman of the Supervisory Board, commented: “Castor’s unique technology and ambition have the potential to transform how clinical research data is used to inform medical decision making. My colleagues on the Board and I look forward to working with Derk and his team towards realizing the full potential of Castor’s cutting-edge platform.”

Castor’s CEO Derk Arts, MD, PhD, added: “We are very pleased to have the guidance of individuals of such high-calibre and vision as part of our Supervisory Board. With the Board’s support, we continue to work towards our mission of making the world’s research data reusable. As one of the first companies to leverage machine-readable data for clinical research, we will be in the best position to enable AI-driven clinical trials and provide invaluable insights to commercial and academic research.”

See below for full biographies.

About Castor

Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and New Jersey, US, Castor is an international health-tech company founded in 2012 by CEO Derk Arts, MD, PhD to leverage machine readable data to increase clinical trial efficiency. Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) platform enables every researcher worldwide to easily capture and integrate medical research data from any source in real-time, including clinicians, patients, devices, wearables, and EHR systems.

Castor is currently collaborating with 30,000 researchers, academic institutions and commercial companies across 90 countries to help them accelerate their studies. The platform has supported more than 4,000 studies that cover a broad range of disease areas including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rare diseases, and cancer. Researchers on the platform generate vast amounts of data from traditional and decentralized trials, and Castor recently reached milestones of 110,000,000 data points and 1,300,000 enrolled patients. As one of the first companies to leverage machine readable data for clinical research, Castor’s platform will enable AI-driven clinical trials and provide invaluable insights to commercial research.

In 2018 Castor raised $6.25m in funding from healthcare investor INKEF Capital in the Netherlands.

Castor Supervisory Board

Ben Cons, PhD

Ben Cons is a Pharmaceutical and Healthcare leader with a proven track record and more than 30 years experience in pharmaceutical R&D & commercialisation in the Biotech, Pharmaceutical and Financing sectors. He previously spent 20 years with the NYSE listed pharmaceutical services company IQVIA and the associated NovaQuest investment fund. Currently, Ben is a Special Partner at the private equity fund Vitruvian and a NED at Talking Medicines Ltd, Fluidic Analytics Ltd, and Immune Regulation Ltd. He is also an Investment Panel Member Future Care Capital a charity focusing on future health and social care policy and a Mentor at Southampton University Future Worlds.

Mark Slaughter

Mark Slaughter is currently the Commercial Head of Pharma Solutions for Philips.  He has also held the roles of Head of Pharma and MedTech- Healthcare Transformation Services, and Head of Healthsuite Labs- The America’s at Philips. Mark founded and lead the venture backed health tech company Cohealo, and before that spent several years advancing robotics procedure design with surgeon innovators in Gynecology, Head and Neck, and Neuro.  Mark received his MBA from the University of Miami and holds a BSc in Management in Business from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Corné Jansen

Corné Jansen has seven years of investment experience in technology. Prior to joining INKEF in May 2015, Corné was a VP at HPE Growth Capital, a late stage growth fund where he looked at both B2B as well as B2C business models in the areas of fintech, applied materials and enterprise software. Before joining HPE, Corné worked in the London based Technology Coverage teams of Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse First Boston, both in London where he executed several M&A transactions and IPOs. Corné also serves on the board of GeoPhy, EclecticIQ, and Cashforce. He holds a BSc in Finance from Reims Management School and a MSc. degree in Financial Management from the Nyenrode, Netherlands. 

Thijs Cohen Tervaert, MD

Thijs Cohen Tervaert is a Director at INKEF. Thijs currently also serves on the board of ViCentra, Aidence, Vicentra, Audion Therapeutics, and Rainier Therapeutics. Prior to INKEF, Thijs was a strategy consultant at the Boston Consulting Group with a focus on health care and technology. He worked on projects for pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and insurers. During a one year secondment, Thijs helped to establish the Amsterdam Health and Technology Institute in 2014. Thijs is a medical doctor and graduated at Leiden University. He has also co-authored several scientific papers.

Castor Establishes Advisory Board of Industry Leaders to Maximize the Impact of its Clinical Data Platform

November 17th, 2019 by

Industry veterans including Craig Lipset will support Castor’s vision to advance the future of clinical research

 

Amsterdam, Netherlands and Hoboken, New Jersey:  November 18, 2019: Castor, a health-tech company that aims to leverage machine readable data to increase clinical trial efficiency, today announces the formation of an independent Advisory Board.

Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) platform enables every researcher worldwide to easily capture and integrate medical research data from any source in real-time, including clinicians, patients, devices, wearables, and electronic health record  (EHR) systems. Researchers on the platform generate vast amounts of data from traditional and decentralized trials, and Castor recently reached milestones of 100,000,000 data points and 1,000,000 enrolled patients.

Over the past few months, Castor’s management team consulted with several experts in the sector to establish the Advisory Board, bringing together top executives and key opinion leaders in the field. The new members will provide invaluable expertise and guidance to help the company achieve its vision of making the world’s research data reusable, enabling AI-driven clinical trials, and ultimately creating a future in which we maximize the impact of data through reuse.

On welcoming the members, Castor CEO Derk Arts, MD, PhD, said: “We are delighted to have attracted this prestigious and diverse group of experts from international institutions to our Advisory Board. This independent body will help us accelerate the development of our platforms, forge new commercial partnerships worldwide, and realize our vision of helping advance medical research. The Board members will bring significant expertise, highly complementary skills and an external perspective, which will be invaluable in informing our strategy as we move forward.”

Craig Lipset, newly appointed Castor Advisory Board member, commented: “Castor has built a platform around a unique vision to transform how medical research data is captured and shared. I am excited to work with my Advisory Board colleagues towards a future where all research data can directly contribute to new treatment options for patients in need. The formation of this board speaks volumes to Castor’s commitment to prioritizing the best interests of patients and researchers alike.”

The Advisory Board members include:

 

See below for full biographies.

About Castor

Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and New Jersey, US, Castor is an international health-tech company founded in 2012 by CEO Derk Arts, MD, PhD to leverage machine readable data to increase clinical trial efficiency. Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) platform enables every researcher worldwide to easily capture and integrate medical research data from any source in real-time, including clinicians, patients, devices, wearables, and EHR systems.

Castor is currently collaborating with 30,000 researchers, academic institutions and commercial companies across 90 countries to help them accelerate their studies. The platform has supported more than 4,000 studies that cover a broad range of disease areas including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rare diseases, and cancer. Researchers on the platform generate vast amounts of data from traditional and decentralized trials, and Castor recently reached milestones of 100,000,000 data points and 1,000,000 enrolled patients. As one of the first companies to leverage machine readable data for clinical research, Castor’s platform will enable AI-driven clinical trials and provide invaluable insights to commercial research.

In 2018 Castor raised $6.25m in funding from healthcare investor INKEF Capital in the Netherlands.

Castor Advisory Board

Craig Lipset, MBA

Craig Lipset is a recognized leader at the forefront of innovation in clinical research and medicine development. He is an advisor to technology and biopharmaceutical companies, leading universities, and the venture community, bringing vision and driving action at the intersection of research, digital solutions, and patient engagement. Craig was the Head of Clinical Innovation and Venture Partner at Pfizer, on the founding Operations Committee for TransCelerate Biopharma, and on the founding management teams for two successful startup ventures (Perceptive Informatics and Adnexus Therapeutics). During that time, Craig designed and launched multiple industry firsts. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Foundation for Sarcoidosis Research, the MedStar Health Research Institute, and the People-Centered Research Foundation (the central office for PCORnet), as well as on the Editorial Board for Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science.

Baljit (Boo) Samra

Baljit (Boo) Samra has more than 25 years of experience in the clinical research field. He is currently a Strategic Advisor and Consultant providing strategic advice and guidance to Academic Medical Centers, CROs, Biotechnology and Private Equity Firms on clinical trial strategy, planning and execution; mergers and acquisitions; digital health and technologies; organizational structure; operational delivery; quality management; change management. He is also an advisory board member to Biotechnology, AI and Technology Platform organizations.

Baljit is a seasoned leader with global exposure and expertise in IT, quality, operations, strategic account leadership and general management. His experience spans the globe, with international exposure in Europe, the United States, and Asia Pacific including China, Japan, and India.

In his most recent position, Baljit was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI) for three years. Prior to rejoining DCRI, Baljit gained extensive experience with PAREXEL as Corporate Vice President, where he was an integral part of the global executive team.

Craig Serra, MS, MBA

Craig Serra is the Global Head of Strategy and Innovation, Data Operations at Novartis. He was previously the Senior Director and Business Process Owner of Clinical Data Management in Worldwide Research and Development at Pfizer, Inc. While with Pfizer, he was the single point of accountability for oversight of the clinical data management conduct and closeout process area applied across the portfolio of 400+ Pfizer clinical trials, executed by over 10,000 clinical research colleagues, impacting tens of thousands of patients. Prior to Pfizer, Craig was the Director of Data Management and Director of Clinical and Strategic Operations with DSP Clinical Research. At DSP, Craig led biometrics services and oversight of clinical systems and quickly was promoted to additionally drive their business development and revenue generating activities. His previous experience includes project, program, portfolio, and business leadership roles at Pfizer, Roche, Eisai, and Schering Plough. Craig has an extensive and diverse educational background, earning a BA in Psychology from Rutgers University and both an MBA in Management and an MS in Information Systems from Fordham University.

Niels van Royen, MD, PhD

Niels van Royen studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam and received his doctorate degree in 1998. In 2003 he obtained – with honors – his PhD on research in collateral artery. The research was conducted in collaboration with the Max-Planck Institute in Bad Nauheim and the University of Freiburg. Van Royen specialized in Cardiology in AMC Amsterdam (2003-2008). He is currently the Head of the Cardiology Department at Radboud University Medical Center.

Thomas Wurdinger, PhD

Thomas Wurdinger studied molecular biology at VU University in Amsterdam and performed his PhD at Utrecht University. After his postdoc period at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital he now holds a position as Director of the Neuro-Oncology Research Group and Professor at the Amsterdam UMC Cancer Center. His mission is to eliminate late-stage cancers, including brain cancer. His passion for research goes hand in hand with an ambition for entrepreneurship applied to a field with societal importance, e.g. by capturing sequencing data and designing deep learning algorithms to detect cancer from a tube of blood. He strives to translate academic research into clinical applications. This is why he founded two biotech companies, with thromboDx focusing on blood platelet-based diagnostics (acquired by Illumina), and the second being Exbiome BV, which sets out to use microRNAs for diagnostic purposes. He also was one of the first directors of research at GRAIL Inc, a unicorn company aiming to detect cancer early when it can be cured. He is a recipient of the Galenus Research Award and several ERC grants.

For more information about Castor please contact:

Castor:

John Ambrose, Esq

Head of Marketing

john.ambrose@castoredc.com

Media & IR Enquiries – Optimum Strategic Communications: 

Mary Clark/ Supriya Mathur/ Hollie Vile

Castor@optimumcomms.com

Tel: +44 (0) 20 3922 1906

Castor Announces International Expansion to Meet Growing Demand for an AI-Powered Clinical Data Platform

October 7th, 2019 by

Castor establishes new US operations, building on leadership position across the EU

 

Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Hoboken, New Jersey, USA, October 7, 2019: Castor, a health-tech company that helps medical researchers maximize the value of research data, today announces its international business expansion. By strengthening its presence in the US and the EU, Castor can enable more researchers and commercial companies around the world to accelerate the discovery of evidence that cures diseases.

Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) platform enables every researcher worldwide to easily capture and integrate medical research data from any source in real-time, including clinicians, patients, devices and wearables. Researchers on the platform generate vast amounts of data from traditional and decentralized trials, and Castor recently reached milestones of 100,000,000 data points and 1,000,000 enrolled patients.  Castor EDC is now used by 90% of academic institutions in The Netherlands and is helping the country increase its influence in the international research community. It has also grown rapidly across the EU, the UK and the US, partnering with several research institutions including University Medical Centre Hamburg, King’s College London, Texas A&M University, and Nebraska Methodist Health System.

To provide further support to US commercial companies and academic institutions, Castor has expanded its operations to the US with the appointment of Frank Cesaro as Head of Global Sales. Cesaro is based in Castor’s new offices in New Jersey and is actively expanding the team and partnering with leading medical device, biotech and pharma companies. Cesaro’s extensive industry experience and established track record includes serving as Head of Sales at Zocdoc, a US based health-tech company. 

Derk Arts, Castor’s Founder and CEO, stated:  “Our mission is to standardize data using machine learning and create the most extensive, diverse, and distributed medical research dataset the world has ever seen. This will enable the medical community to discover potential cures for diseases at an unprecedented pace.  2019 has been a transformational year for Castor as we doubled our headcount and are now supporting more than 30,000 biotechnology, medical device, pharmaceutical, and academic researchers across over 90 countries. Frank’s appointment will enable us to build on our success in the European market and accelerate the development of our US business.”

As one of the first companies to leverage machine readable data for clinical research, Castor’s platform will enable AI-driven clinical trials and provide invaluable insights to commercial research. It currently hosts more than 4,000 research projects in more than 220 internationally renowned academic and commercial institutions including Stryker, Xcenda, and EIP Pharma.

For more information please contact:

Optimum Strategic Communications

Mary Clark/ Hollie Vile/ Manel Mateus: castor@optimumcomms.com / Tel: +44 (0) 203 950 9144

Note to editors:

 

About Castor EDC

Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and New Jersey, US, Castor is an international health-tech company founded in 2012 by CEO Derk Arts, MD, PhD to help medical researchers maximize the value of research data. Castor’s Electronic Data Capture (EDC) platform enables every researcher worldwide to easily capture and integrate medical research data from any source in real-time, including clinicians, patients, devices and wearables.

Castor is currently collaborating with 30,000 researchers, academic institutions and commercial companies across 90 countries to help them accelerate their studies. The platform has supported more than 4,000 studies that cover a broad range of disease areas including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, rare diseases, and cancer. Researchers on the platform generate vast amounts of data from traditional and decentralized trials, and Castor recently reached milestones of 100,000,000 data points and 1,000,000 enrolled patients. As one of the first companies to leverage machine readable data for clinical research, Castor’s platform will enable AI-driven clinical trials and provide invaluable insights to commercial research.

In 2018 Castor raised $6.25m in funding from healthcare investor INKEF Capital in the Netherlands.

Website: www.castoredc.com

Twitter: @Castor

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/ciwit-b-v-

Press Release: Castor Is Growing Throughout the Netherlands

September 4th, 2019 by

A majority of Dutch academic medical centers are collaborating with Castor EDC to capture standardized medical research data

Health-tech scale-up is helping the Netherlands lead the way in applying FAIR data in medical research

 


 

Amsterdam, Netherlands – September 4, 2019

Castor EDC has issued two more site licenses to major Dutch university medical centers. The data capture platform is now available to all researchers at the University Medical Center of Utrecht (UMCU) and the AMC location of the Amsterdam UMC. This provides them with a user-friendly means of capturing, integrating and standardizing research data. 

Five of the eight UMCs in the Netherlands currently hold a site license for the platform. With these new partnerships, Castor’s advanced tools are now in use at all the major medical centers in the Netherlands. This means that the majority of medical researchers in the Netherlands can now store and process research data according to FAIR principles, thanks to Castor EDC. 

FAIR Data: Faster, better results

The FAIR Data Principles are a set of guiding principles that aim to make medical research data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable. The goal of FAIR is to enable researchers around the world to benefit from each other’s research data. Ultimately, FAIR makes it easier for researchers to collaborate, lowers costs, and improves research infrastructure and quality. These principles are aligned with Castor’s goal of “helping accelerate medical research by unlocking the potential of every byte of research data.”

“Saving time in a race against the clock”

The UMCU has expressed its trust in working with Castor. Above all, the medical center values the emphasis that Castor places on FAIR. “FAIR data is above all about saving time in a race against the clock, which is exactly what finding treatments and medicines often is,” says Teus Kappen, MD, PhD, Chief Science Information Officer at UMCU. “By making information accessible and reusable via Castor EDC, we will be able to make progress faster than previously possible.”

Chris Polman, PhD, a member of the Board of Directors at the Amsterdam UMC, is also impressed with the possibilities that Castor EDC offers: “Castor is already being widely used at the VUmc location of the Amsterdam UMC, so it is a logical step to have a site license for both locations. This will enable all of our researchers to capture data in a manner that is secure and compliant. It is also important that the data we collect can be reused for further research wherever possible. Castor also supports us during the implementation to capture data in accordance with FAIR data principles.”

Progress for the Netherlands in medical research worldwide

Once all the major research centers are using a FAIR system, the data they capture can be used optimally, says Barend Mons, PhD, one of the academics behind the FAIR data initiative. “Readily usable research data is essential to maintaining a high level of innovation. The fact that Dutch medical centers are taking this idea seriously gives them an advantage in the research world. The Castor platform perfectly translates FAIR principles into a practical, user-friendly environment.” 

Gaining traction in academia

For Castor EDC, the new investment from UMCU and the contract with the Amsterdam UMC are important steps, enabling the company to now serve the majority of Dutch medical research centers. “For us, this is a perfect opportunity to support medical research in the Netherlands and implement FAIR data more quickly,” says Derk Arts, MD, PhD, Founder and CEO of Castor. “This investment is also an important step for our platform. Along with the collaboration with the Leiden University Medical Center, we are gaining even more traction in the academic world.”

Castor launches at the UMCU and AMC

Soon, 2,000 researchers at the UMCU and 2,500 at the AMC will be using Castor. It is important to ensure that the integration of the platform at these medical centers runs as smoothly as possible. That is why Castor will play an active role in implementing the platform. Through launch events featuring speakers, training sessions for each department and masterclasses about medical research, all researchers will have an opportunity to get to know the application.

About Castor EDC

Castor EDC was founded in 2012 by Derk Arts and has already captured 100,000,000+ data points since its inception. The data capture platform hosts more than 4,000 research projects in over 220 internationally renowned academic and commercial institutions including Leiden UMC and Radboud UMC in The Netherlands, King’s College Hospital in London, and Akron Children’s Hospital and Nebraska Methodist in the US, as well as Philips and Xcenda. Today, more than 30,000 academic, medical device, biotech and pharmaceutical professionals use Castor EDC, spread over 50 countries, with the majority in the Netherlands, UK and US. 

In 2017, the company received a €1.1 million subsidy from the EU under the Horizon 2020 initiative of the European Commission. In 2018, it attracted around €5 million from investors at INKEF Capital who specialize in healthcare. Castor has over 50 employees across offices in Amsterdam and the United States. Learn more at castoredc.com.

Persbericht: Nederlandse health-tech startup wint Europese aanbesteding LUMC voor data management systeem

October 17th, 2018 by

Amsterdam, Netherlands – 17 Oktober, 2018

De Nederlandse health-tech startup Castor EDC, een electronic data capture-platform voor medisch onderzoek, heeft een Europese aanbesteding gewonnen bij het Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC). Met het platform van Castor EDC kunnen de onderzoekers van het LUMC in een paar stappen een klinische dataverzameling voor onderzoek opstellen en
uitvoeren.

Eenvoudig onderzoeksdata verzamelen en delen
Met Castor EDC kunnen onderzoekers eenvoudig onderzoeksdata verzamelen, standaardiseren en delen. Alle klinisch onderzoekers in het LUMC krijgen hiermee toegang tot het Castor EDC-platform. Het platform maakt tevens een koppeling met het Medical Intelligence platform dat door het LUMC is opgezet, waarbij data uit onder andere het EPD (HiX van Chipsoft) gebruikt kunnen worden voor klinisch wetenschappelijk onderzoek.

HL7 FHIR en analyse-omgeving
Dankzij een koppeling van Castor EDC kunnen gepseudonimiseerde patiëntgegevens via een veilige, versleutelde verbinding, conform de HL7 FHIR-standaard, beschikbaar worden gesteld in het onderzoeksplatform ten bate van klinisch onderzoek. Hiermee besparen de onderzoekers veel tijd, omdat gegevens uit patiëntendossiers niet meer handmatig hoeven worden overgenomen.

Zonder uitleg aan de slag
De implementatie van Castor EDC in het LUMC wordt uitgevoerd in samenwerking met Beter Healthcare, Furore en Firely. “Met ons datamanagementsysteem kunnen de onderzoekers van het LUMC zeer laagdrempelig, veilig en vele malen sneller dan voorheen klinisch onderzoek uitvoeren,” aldus Derk Arts, oprichter en CEO van Castor EDC. “In principe kunnen de onderzoekers van het LUMC binnen enkele uren en zonder nadere uitleg een studie bouwen in hun Castor-omgeving, maar toch kiezen wij ervoor om zeven trainingen te beleggen. ”

Over Castor EDC
Castor EDC heeft één doel voor ogen: medisch onderzoek slimmer en efficiënter maken met gebruiksvriendelijke technologie. Met 30 mannen en vrouwen wordt elke dag gewerkt aan software tools die het voor onderzoekers en patiënten wereldwijd mogelijk maakt meer te halen uit alle tijd en geld die in medisch onderzoek wordt gestoken. Opgericht in 2012, telt Castor EDC intussen 2.800 onderzoeken, 23.000 gebruikers en 80 instellingen zoals het AMC, Radboudumc en King’s College Hospital in Londen (VK) onder zijn afnemers.

Over de oprichter, Derk Arts
Oprichter en CEO is de Derk Arts (MD, PhD, 32 jaar). Hij richtte het bedrijf op tijdens zijn PhD in het
AMC in Amsterdam. Vorig jaar heeft het bedrijf 1,1 miljoen euro subsidie ontvangen vanuit Horizon
2020, het innovatieprogramma van de Europese Commissie voor MKB-bedrijven.

Press release: Castor EDC raises $6.25M Series A to accelerate medical research

July 2nd, 2018 by

Amsterdam, Netherlands – July 2nd, 2018

Castor EDC, one of the fastest growing Dutch health-tech startups, accelerating the medical research process with user-friendly technology, today announced that it raised $6.25 million (€5.3M). This Series A round was led by INKEF Capital, an Amsterdam based technology, and healthcare venture capital firm, with several angel investors.

“Medical data has become the world’s most valuable asset, yet it wastes away in modern-day research,” Derk Arts, Castor’s founder and CEO, states. “At Castor, we have built a cutting-edge, user-friendly Electronic Data Capture [EDC] platform that we are putting in the hands of every medical researcher worldwide. With the help of our system, we allow researchers to streamline the clinical trial process and use their data to its full potential.”

The platform enables researchers to set up data capture forms, collaborate with colleagues, invite patients through questionnaires, import, export and analyze their data in a secure, compliant cloud environment, all without elaborate training or technical skills.

By helping standardize their data using machine learning, researchers will be able to create the most extensive, most diverse, distributed medical research dataset the world has ever seen. “This would allow the medical community to discover potential cures for diseases much faster,” Arts said.

The funding, which comes on the back of Castor closing its third major deal with a large academic hospital, will be used to expand in the US, and to continue development of its research platform.

Arts: “We will focus on developing our technology to have the biggest impact on medical research: fully mobile workflows, increasing the number of integrations with Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) and putting the patient in the driver’s seat by further integrating our patient-facing dynamic consent module, called MyConsent. It will be instrumental in fixing one of the largest problems in medical research: patient recruitment.”

Corné Jansen (director INKEF Capital) says: “When we met the Castor team we were immediately excited by the depth of their vision and impressed with how far they brought the company without external investments. With Castor sitting at the intersection of our Technology & Healthcare investment areas, we can leverage our understanding of the healthcare industry with our SaaS experience.”

Arts, who holds a medical degree and Ph.D., left his medical career to start the company in 2012, which managed to secure a €1.1M Horizon 2020 grant from the European Commission in May last year. This grant is being used to build machine learning capabilities into the platform, enabling its users to develop standardized forms and questionnaires quickly.

About Castor EDC
Founded in 2012, Castor is an electronic data capture system for medical research, growing more than 100% per year. Headquartered in Amsterdam and with an office opening in Boston (US), Castor currently employs a team of 30 people. The platform hosts well over 3,000 studies and has more than 18,000 users, who hail from over 100 renowned institutes like the Academic Medical Center (Amsterdam), Radboudumc (Nijmegen), UKE (Hamburg), and King’s College Hospital (London).

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