Cambridge Cognition aims to become major player in fast- growing $7.8 billion virtual clinical trials market with acquisition of eClinicalHealth

Catalysed by the pandemic, the overall virtual clinical trials market has grown rapidly and is now valued at US$7.8 billion with a projected growth of 14% per annum [1]. Cambridge Cognition is an active player in the central nervous system (CNS) market, supplying digital solutions to assess brain health. Now, in a major strategic move that will accelerate the company’s growth, Cambridge Cognition has entered an agreement to acquire eClinicalHealth (eCH); a full-service digital technology provider that is working on virtual clinical trials for three of the world’s top ten largest pharmaceutical companies. By integrating eCH’s patient-centric Clinpal platform, Cambridge Cognition will be able to offer clients a fully integrated solution covering all trial modules – from recruitment to clinical reporting.

Virtual clinical trials are increasingly regarded as the future of drug development because they provide the technology to decentralise testing and therefore an opportunity to improve recruitment, retention, trial diversity, trial delays and costs [2]. Recognising this value, a recent survey found that 89% of pharmaceutical companies are currently deploying some form of virtual technology in their trials [3]. Many CNS disorders, such as depression and Alzheimer’s disease, are particularly suited to virtual trials as at home daily measurements can offer richer information on the progress of the condition. Consequently, over the last two years, there have been more virtual trials for CNS disorders than any other therapeutic area [4].

Virtual clinical trials for CNS disorders are a natural area of strength for Cambridge Cognition since they are a perfect fit for the suite of world leading digital cognitive assessments and electronic clinical outcomes assessments (eCOA) developed over the last 30 years. The company also markets several additional virtual clinical trial modules, such as a medication reminder, that have proven to be attractive add-ons to the core outcomes assessments. The eCH acquisition now enables Cambridge Cognition to complete its offering with a patient-centric platform that connects patients, sites and pharmaceutical companies to coordinate and manage all the essential steps in a virtual clinical trial.

Matthew Stork, Chief Executive Officer of Cambridge Cognition, said: “The continued rise in virtual trials, and CNS virtual trials in particular, has led us to carefully consider how best to expand our offering quickly to serve this growing market. The acquisition of a company with a proven and widely used technology platform, provides Cambridge Cognition the opportunity to capitalise on this market momentum more rapidly than organic development. It both makes us immediately more competitive in the CNS virtual trials space and opens the wider Cambridge Cognition business to their established client base of major pharmaceutical, medical device and contract research organisations.”

1. CB Insights, Market Trend Report: Decentralized Clinical Trials, July 2022. Note: The overall market for virtual clinical trials, including technology, services and patient costs is $7.8 billion and growing at 14% per annum.
2. GlobalData. 2021. Virtual Trials Research Report
3. Florence, 2022 State of Clinical Trial Operations Technology Report
4. GlobalData. Virtual trials run by pharma by therapeutic area Jan 2021 – Aug 2022