August 18, 2022 – Protas, the non-profit organisation delivering smarter clinical trials for better health, today announced a £5m grant from venture capital firm GV. The grant recognises Protas’ unique ability to deliver better clinical trials at a fraction of the current cost and will enable the organisation to further grow its capacity to design and deliver large, randomised clinical trials for common and other life-threatening diseases.
Over a third of GV’s investments are in the life sciences sector, supporting companies that seek to improve lives and patient outcomes. The grant funding to Protas underscores GV’s commitment to life sciences innovation in Europe.
Protas is led by the epidemiologist and physician, Professor Sir Martin Landray, who has over 20 years’ experience of leading large, randomized clinical trials as part of a team at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Population Health. Most recently, he has been leading the landmark RECOVERY clinical trial into treatments for COVID-19 which identified that treatment with the inexpensive steroid drug, dexamethasone, improved the chances of survival for the most severe cases.
Professor Sir Martin Landray, Chief Executive of Protas, said: “We are incredibly grateful for GV’s generous grant which is a huge endorsement of our work and reinforces the importance of Protas’ mission. The cost of clinical trials of new treatments for common diseases is extraordinarily high, meaning that many new drugs are never taken forward and never reach patients as the commercial risk is too high. Our mission to improve patient outcomes is aligned with GV’s and with this grant, Protas will be able to strengthen its capabilities and deliver large-scale trials at a fraction of the cost of current trials, so that more treatments can be discovered for common diseases.”
“As part of our ongoing commitment to life sciences innovation, we’re thrilled to support Protas as they work towards greater efficiency in clinical trials for common diseases,” said Dr. David Schenkein, General Partner at GV. “GV seeks to invest in breakthrough innovations that move clinical trials forward to benefit patients, and Protas is doing foundational research in this area.”
Protas will combine smart randomized trial design with effective technology and a collaborative approach, aiming to encourage the development of better treatments for conditions1 which affect a large proportion of the population and place huge pressure on the health services that support them and on wider society. It will do this at a fraction of the cost of current trials, by minimising complexity and designing trials that focus on the elements that matter most to the participants in the trial and to those future patients whose care will be impacted by the results. Protas will also use an integrated technology system to support the safe, trustworthy and efficient use of data to deliver its trials and generate the evidence needed to bring treatments to patients.
Notes to editors
- Examples of common and life-threatening diseases include heart, lung and respiratory disease, arthritis, cancer, depression and dementia.
Protas is a not-for-profit organisation, dedicated to designing and delivering smart, large-scale and global clinical trials on treatments for common and other life-threatening diseases. By conducting high quality clinical trials at a fraction of the current industry cost, Protas will encourage the development of more treatments for common and other life-threatening diseases, which could have profound implications for patients and the health systems that care for them. Protas is led by one of the most experienced and acclaimed clinical trialists in the world and supported by a highly respected Board. Protas has received initial grant support from NHS England and has recently announced Sanofi as a strategic partner. but will generate income through collaborations with the private sector and philanthropic organisations who wish to see smarter trials tackle common and other life-threatening conditions. More information can be found at https://protas.co.uk
GV provides venture capital funding to bold new companies. Across the fields of life science, enterprise technology, consumer products and services, and frontier technology, GV’s portfolio companies aim to improve lives and transform industries. GV’s team of world-class engineers, designers, physicians, scientists, marketers, and investors work together to provide startups exceptional support.
Launched as Google Ventures in 2009, GV is the venture capital arm of Alphabet, Inc. GV helps startups interface with Google, providing unique access to the world’s best technology and talent.
GV has over $8 billion under management. Notable investment outcomes include Uber, Slack, One Medical Group, Nest, Flatiron Health, and Duo Security. GV is headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in San Francisco, Boston, New York, and London.
Biography of Professor Sir Martin Landray
Sir Martin Landray is CEO of Protas, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford and a consultant hospital physician. He has over 20 years’ experience of leading large, randomized trials, particularly of new treatments for heart and kidney disease. Since March 2020, he has co-led the RECOVERY trial, the world’s largest trial of treatments for COVID-19, producing practice-changing results for 10 treatments (including the demonstration that dexamethasone, tocilizumab, baricitinib, and neutralising monoclonal antibodies improve survival for selected patients with severe diseases). He works closely with regulators, industry, academia, patient groups and government organizations to improve all aspects of clinical trials and leads the Good Clinical Trials Collaborative that is developing and promoting the implementation of better guidelines and regulations for randomized trials. He was a lead contributor to the G7 Clinical Trials Charter and the 100 Days Mission for Pandemic Preparedness. In June 2021, he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to public health and science.