Direct-To-Patient Clinical Research Company Lightship Raises $20 Million

By Dan Anderson • Feb 3, 2020
  • Lightship, a premier provider of enterprise-level direct-to-patient clinical research solutions, announced it raised $20 million in Series B funding

Lightship — a premier provider of enterprise-level direct-to-patient clinical research solutions — announced it has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by McKesson Ventures and Define Ventures with participation from Khosla Ventures, Brook Byers, and Marc Benioff. The company also announced the appointment of David MacMurchy as CEO and Tom Pike as Executive Chairman.

“We launched Lightship over a year ago to transform the existing clinical research landscape,” said Lightship co-founder Alon Krashinsky. “There is a tremendous opportunity ahead of us to enable a broader population of patients to be able to participate in research as a care option. Delivered at enterprise scale, we believe this model will accelerate clinical research by as much as 30-50%. We are thrilled to be able to work with McKesson Ventures and Define Ventures to continue to drive towards that goal.”

MacMurchy was hired from PRA Health Sciences where he led the organization’s Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa business as Executive Vice President. And before joining PRA, MacMurchy was Ernst & Young’s Markets Leader for Life Sciences, Consumer Products, and Retail Practice.

“The team that has come together to build this business has the right combination of experiences to successfully deliver this new clinical research model,” added MacMurchy. “I’m excited to apply my experience serving some of the most innovative companies in pharma to deliver this new model, and I am honored by the opportunity to lead the organization and truly revolutionize how clinical research is delivered in the marketplace.”

With this round of funding, McKesson Ventures and Define Ventures along with Byers are joining previous investors Khosla Ventures and Marc Benioff in financing Lightship’s rapid expansion. And this funding round will enable Lightship to continue to build the leading team to deliver Direct-to-Patient clinical research along with further developing its clinical research technology platform to ensure operational excellence in upcoming trial launches.

“We continue to observe broad industry support for new approaches to lower drug development costs and increase access to relevant trials,” explained Dave Schulte, Managing Director of McKesson Ventures. “We believe Lightship’s innovative clinical research model will directly address these issues and allow research dollars to be invested more efficiently towards the development of life-saving drugs.”

MacMurchy, Schulte, and Define Ventures managing director Lynne Chou O’Keefe will join Krashinsky, Pike, and Khosla Ventures partner Samir Kaul on the Board of Directors.

“We’ve been impressed with Lightship’s approach of bringing a modern consumer experience to clinical research,” stated O’Keefe. “We see a tremendous opportunity to bring clinical research as a care option to a patient population who’s never previously been able to participate. We are excited to be able to work with Lightship to deliver on that promise.