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October 6, 2021

Slope Raises $20M in Series A Funding to Revolutionize Clinical Trial Operations through Automation

by
Slope

With funding, Slope expands its technology-driven infrastructure solution to coordinate and automate clinical trial supply chains for decentralized and direct-to-patient clinical trials.

San Francisco, CA — October 6, 2021 — Slope, the clinical operations solution company, today announced the closing of a $20 million Series A financing, led by global venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), to accelerate go-to-market efforts and further expand into decentralized and direct-to-patient clinical trials. Slope’s technology-driven infrastructure solution connects all clinical trial stakeholders—ClinOps teams, CROs, research sites, patients, vendors, and laboratories—in real-time through a 21 CFR Part 11 compliant software platform, capturing clinical supply chain demand data at the patient level and then using it alongside research-specific workflows to orchestrate and automate operational complexity.

"Finding an investment partner with first-hand knowledge of the problems caused by the inefficiencies of current clinical trial supply chain management processes was a key success factor for us at Slope," said Rust Felix, Slope CEO and co-founder. "With its expansive life sciences portfolio and deep domain expertise, NEA was at the top of our list. We are very excited to have them alongside us as we revolutionize clinical trial operations."

"On the life sciences side of our healthcare investing practice we see firsthand how clinical trials are increasing in complexity, making it difficult to achieve a proper, traceable, chain of custody for valuable patient samples,” said Blake Wu, Partner at NEA. "This is especially true for decentralized and direct-to-patient clinical trials. As a result, we immediately saw the value of Slope’s unique vision and approach to optimizing the clinical trial supply chain, automating logistical transactions, assuring clinical data integrity, and facilitating communication and collaboration between the various clinical operations stakeholders within a single platform."

The Clinical Trial Operational Problem

Clinical trial sponsors rely on efficient study design, planning, and execution to get their drugs, devices, and diagnostics to market. Yet, activities such as procurement, vendor management, inventory management, clinical supply chain management, supply and resupply, sample collection, sample routing, direct-to-patient shipments, and chain of custody are informed by inaccurate models that rarely reflect reality. These manually intensive processes result in overwhelming operational friction for ClinOps teams, delaying research, threatening clinical data integrity and contributing to 80% of clinical trials being more than a month behind schedule. Each day a study is delayed costs research sponsors millions of dollars.

The Slope Solution

Slope’s technology-driven infrastructure solution addresses the operational problems and delays caused by manual, spreadsheet-driven clinical trial management processes. Software-assisted workflows powered by real-time supply chain data automatically coordinate the thousands of logistical transactions that occur throughout the lifecycle of a study while gathering and recording relevant metadata. This ensures fully traceable chain of custody—regardless of study design—for all drugs, devices, lab kits, samples, and equipment as they travel across a clinical trial’s supply chain.

Slope launched its free inventory management solution for clinical research sites in 2018. Today, Slope has over 4,500 users across 660 clinical research sites using the platform. In 2019, Slope released its solution for clinical trial sponsors and CROs that connects Clinical Operations teams to the wealth of operational data that occurs at the patient level. In 2021, Slope opened a fulfillment center in Richmond, Virginia, manufacturing smart lab kits that enable real-time inventory management, automated lab kit resupply, sample collection workflows, intelligent sample-to-lab routing, with an electronic audit trail that provides full traceable chain of custody across all activities and stakeholders.

To date, Slope has managed chain of custody for tens of thousands of clinical trial samples and is rapidly expanding the use of their technology to facilitate clinical supply chain visibility and automation for both decentralized and direct-to-patient clinical trials.

About Slope

Slope redefines how clinical trial protocols are executed by connecting all the stakeholders in the clinical trials ecosystem, including sponsor and CRO ClinOps teams, research sites, vendors, patients, and laboratories through a single 21 CFR Part 11 compliant software platform. The Slope platform captures clinical supply chain demand data at the patient level and then uses it alongside real-time data and guided workflows to orchestrate and automate operational complexity. Slope brings order, trust, and predictability to protocol execution through automation, ensuring patients always have what they need with fewer surprises, faster outcomes, and stronger clinical data integrity. As a result, clinical trials using Slope are operationally efficient, finishing on time and within budget—with patient data that can be trusted.

Sponsors, CROs, and research sites can learn more by visiting www.slope.io and requesting a consultation with a Slope solutions expert.

About NEA

New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) is a global venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs build transformational businesses across multiple stages, sectors, and geographies. With nearly $24 billion in cumulative committed capital since the firm's founding in 1977, NEA invests in technology and healthcare companies at all stages in a company's lifecycle, from seed stage through IPO. The firm's long track record of successful investing includes more than 250 portfolio company IPOs and more than 425 mergers and acquisitions. www.nea.com.

Media Contact

Shannon Wilsey, Sparkpr
shannon.wilsey@sparkpr.com

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Traceable Chain of Custody Requirements for an eClinical Supply Chain Management Platform
Biological samples from subjects are the most valuable assets that travel across the clinical trial’s supply chain. Any gap in the knowledge in the biological sample's lifecycle can make the subject non-evaluable and jeopardize overall data integrity. If this happens too often, the overall clinical trial can be at risk. When shipping biological samples, clinical research sponsors must have the data they need to conduct biological sample reconciliation—meaning they have documentation to track a biological sample stored in a biorepository back to the lab that analyzed it, the courier that transported it, the research site that collected it, the lab kit that was used and its lot and serial number, and the lab kit’s distributor and manufacturer. This data allows the sponsor to prove that a biological sample is valid and has not been tainted anywhere along the way. As a result, an online platform must maintain an immutable record of all of the steps a biological sample takes throughout its journey from collection through storage, along with the steps taken by each collaborator, including sponsors, contract research organizations (CROs), research sites, distributors, labs, and couriers. As a result, an eCSCM platform must be able to prove a traceable chain of custody for biological samples, lab kits, investigational product (IP), devices, and ancillary and other clinical supplies, whether in use, transit, or storage.