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Antidote is a digital patient engagement company whose focus is on clinical trial patient recruitment.

Mission and Beliefs of Antidote

The company’s mission is to enable faster medical innovation by transforming how sponsors and patients connect. To achieve this mission, the team is using technology to solve a very human problem and one of the biggest obstacles in medical research: matching the right patients with the right clinical trials.

Antidote was started in 2010 as TrialReach. Since then, it has built an impressive team and a 300+ partner network entirely dedicated to this mission.

“Ultimately, we do what we do to help patients find new treatment options — they’re at the core of every single product we build and service we offer,” says Laurent Schockmel, CEO of Antidote.

How Antidote Solved the Challenges It Was Facing?

Clinical trial patient recruitment is a major issue in medical research, with 80% of trials missing their deadlines, 50% of sites under-enrolled, and up to $8M lost for every day a trial is delayed.

“We know that researchers are looking for patients to take part in their research — and we know that patients are interested in participating. We’re motivated to bridge that gap to accelerate medical research and help get treatments to the patients who need them faster.”

The most frustrating part of building and growing companies is that big aspirations don’t always align with funding, which directly impacts the ability to execute the plan and accelerate growth.

Antidote is in high-growth mode, and the team has big plans to enhance their clinical trial search engine, launch new products and services, and expand their footprint internationally. While 2020 was a banner year for them, with 66% revenue growth and a 158% increase in projects over 2019, they still faced challenges as the pandemic paused many of the trials they were supporting.

“We needed additional capital and strategic support to reach our goals for 2021 and beyond. When we met LBO France at Tech Tour Health, we found funding and support from an organization well aligned with our mission,” explains Laurent Schockmel.

How and Where Did Both Parties Meet?

The start-up: Antidote’s team met LBO France during Tech Tour Health in December 2020. They presented their 5-minute pitch, and one of the investors who requested a follow-up meeting was LBO France. Mr. Schockmel was thrilled to find an investment firm that was such a strong match for Antidote.

The Investor: “We met Antidote during Tech Tour Health in December 2020 during their five-minute pitch. I was impressed by the quality of Laurent’s presentation and the expertise and maturity of the company,” says Sebastien Woynar.

Success in business is built on trust — and this includes trusting one’s intuition to take reasonable risks. Antidote’s team only met via Zoom, but they knew LBO France’s reputation. Through their many conversations and the necessary due diligence, the start-up felt comfortable that LBO France were a strong partner for them.

“It can be difficult to trust someone in a time of crisis, but I’d argue that that is actually the most important time to assume the best in people,” says Laurent Schockmel from Antidote.

“Our investment team is, in a very unique manner, focused on Digital Health. Hence, we engage very quickly in focused and deep interactions with the company. This allows us to evaluate quickly if we can build a trustful relationship with a company. After a couple of exchanges, it became obvious that this would be the case with Antidote, Laurent, and his team,” explains Sebastien Woynar from LBO France.

What Attracted Antidote to the Fund – LBO France?

LBO France has been a pioneer European investor in investing in digital companies since they launched their first dedicated digital fund in 2014. Antidote appreciates that the fund views digital health as a crucial piece of the future of healthcare.

“They are now investing with their second digital fund and will help not only with an independent strategic view of our market but also with invaluable commercial or partnership introductions. Of course, we share a native language as well — so that was a plus,” proudly says Laurent Schockmel.

Two members of the LBO France team, Sebastien Woynar and Franck Noiret, joined Antidote’s Board of Directors as part of their funding round — and are perfect examples of why this partnership makes sense.

  • Sebastien is a trained physician who has run many clinical trials in the past, and perfectly understands the unique challenges of patient recruitment.
  • Franck is an experienced investor who has served on the board of a number of companies in their field that could be strategic partners or clients.

Why Antidote Chose to Trust a Tech Tour Community Member?

“We chose to work with LBO France because of their in-depth understanding of clinical trial patient recruitment, and their unique view of the ways that Antidote’s data can elevate our offerings and take our business to the next level,” says Laurent Schockmel.

Laurent joined Antidote as CEO in 2018. With a background in data companies, he always believed in the potential of Antidote’s data, so was looking for that in an investor as well.

Investment Size

In June 2021, LBO France led Antidote’s new $23.2M funding round, joining existing major investors Merck Global Health Innovation Fund, Smedvig Capital, and Octopus Ventures.

Future Collaboration Between the Investor and the Start-Up

“As I’ve mentioned, two members of the LBO France have joined our Board, so we’ll be working collaboratively to grow our business, drive revenue, and maximize our impact,” explains Laurent Schockmel.

He envisions Antidote as the patient engagement company of choice for top pharma companies. The whole team aims to make their mark by accelerating the evaluation and adoption of the treatments of tomorrow.

“I hope that Franck Noiret (the second Board Member from LBO France) and I can be great sparring partners to Laurent and his team – supporting them with our expertise and experience in the digital health and clinical trial fields,” says Mr. Woynar.

Benefits from Tech Tour’s Events, Activities, and Programmes

“We would likely not have met LBO France if it weren’t for Tech Tour Health last year. We’re based in the U.S. and the U.K., so a French investment firm was not on our radar,” says Mr. Schockmel.

When it comes to Tech Tour’s programmes, Antidote appreciates the qualitative vetting selection process and the opportunity for small businesses to present their stories to a broad range of high-quality investors, as it speeds up the process of meeting ‘the one’.

“We are grateful to have been selected by Tech Tour Health. And it was free!”

Sebastien Woynar from LBO France shares, “Tech Tour’s events allow us to access a wide source of deal flow, both geographically and in terms of business focus. Apart from the great Tech Tour team itself (!), the best asset of the Tech Tour events is their community of entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors, and experts.

Future Impact of Antidote

If Antidote’s team has learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that medical research is absolutely critical to the future of society. And more people than ever are aware of this.

In fact, as COVID drove clinical trial awareness, the start-up saw more than 7x the number of people visiting their website in 2020 versus 2019.

“I think this speaks to the importance of our platform, services, and content during the pandemic,” explains Laurent Schockmel.

With the speed with which the industry developed COVID-19 vaccines, it now seems feasible for treatments for other therapeutic areas to become available to patients much more quickly than the whole world may have imagined.

Antidote will be there to help drive that speed, matching patients to trials that may be testing the next breakthrough medications. And they will continue to support upcoming trends they’re seeing in the industry, like virtual trials and increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in research.

“It’s been an exciting time at Antidote, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds,” concludes Mr. Schockmel.

Sebastien Woynar from LBO France shares a similar view:

“With an amazing team and leadership, strong technological assets and a customer-focused and pioneer mindset, Antidote has the potential to change the world of clinical trials for the better, helping patients access new therapies in a faster and safer way. The impact could be tremendously positive for all parties.”