A start-up company aiming to develop an app to match cancer patients to clinical trails has shuttered, Stat News reports. Its closing due to a lack of funds comes less than six weeks after its launch, it adds.
According to an earlier Stat News report, Driver launched in September with backing from Li Ka-shing, who it called the richest man in Hong Kong, and with University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna on its board. It added that more than 30 cancer centers were signed up to get access to the app.
For its service, Driver was charging patients $3,000 in addition to a monthly $20 fee to analyze their tumor and medical records to match them to treatments or clinical trials. Stat News noted, though, that getting likely cash-strapped patients to pony up additional out-of-pocket funds would be a challenge. Still, the company hoped to address the issue of low numbers of eligible patients enrolling in clinical trials, Stat News said.
And now it reports that the company has shut down. Driver CEO and co-founder William Polkinghorn tells it that Driver ran out of funds as it wasn't making money fast enough to convince investors to provide additional funding.