Women-led Triad IRO Lands $40+M, Plans to Double Workforce

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Flush with more than $40 million in capital, a Triad research firm says it’s getting ready to “revolutionize” the quality of clinical trials and, ultimately, patient outcomes.

Javara, a women-led integrated research organization, headquartered in Winston-Salem’s Innovation Quarter, confirmed this week it has raised $30 million in a Series B funding from global growth equity group General Atlantic. That’s on top of roughly $13 million raised over three rounds since 2019.

Javara, founded in 2018 by Jennifer Byrne, CEO, Amanda Wright, CDO and Linda McCarty, general counsel and privacy officer, said it will now leverage the capital to drive geographic expansion, bringing its “integrated research model” approach nationwide.

It also plans to double its workforce to 400 employees “over the next 12 to 24 months,” a spokesperson told the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.

“We founded Javara with a vision to transform clinical research delivery,” Byrne said. “We’re thrilled to partner with General Atlantic to bring forth more investigators, increase diversity and more-effectively address the unmet need of patients.”

As part of the latest transaction, Brett Zbar, M.D., General Atlantic’s managing director and global head of life sciences; and Joe von Rickenbach, its senior advisor and former CEO of PAREXEL International Corporation, will join Javara’s board of directors.

“We believe Javara has developed a creative solution to longstanding hurdles in the clinical trial ecosystem,” said von Rickenbach. “I look forward to supporting its growth.”

Javara’s approach, explained its founders, is based on partnering with healthcare organizations to deliver clinical trial access at point of care.

According to the group’s internal data, traditional standalone trial sites, on average, enroll only 28% of the targeted number of patients. Plus, nearly 20% of those drop out before completion, resulting in nearly 80% of all trials fail to finish on time. That leads to significant losses in revenue for trial sponsors and delays in lifesaving treatments, Byrne said.

“By introducing patients to clinical trials in familiar and convenient settings, [we] effectively help to break down existing socioeconomic barriers to reach diverse patient populations and democratize a healthcare space,” she said.

Javara is currently integrated into the systems of its healthcare partners, including Wake Forest Baptist Health and Privia Health. It said it plans to have employees embedded in health systems across the U.S. in the next few years.

Byrne is a longtime clinical research leader in the region. She is the former CEO of PMG Research, another clinical research organization based in Winston-Salem, and founder of Greater Gift, a nonprofit that donates vaccine doses internationally for every clinical trial participant with partner organizations.

She also serves on NCBiotech’s Advisory Committee for Biotechnology in the Piedmont Triad, which advocates for bioscience development in the region, and won the 2019 Triad BioNight Entrepreneurial Excellence Award.

Nancy Johnston, executive director of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center’s Piedmont Triad Office, applauded the startup’s latest raise.

“This level of investment demonstrates Javara’s vitality and relevance as a new integrated approach in clinical research and partnerships,” she said.

It’s also a boon to the region: “It further strengthens opportunities for growth as a hub for healthcare innovation,” she added.

Chantal Allam, NCBiotech Writer
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