In a series of blog posts under the theme “Movers and Shakers”, we will be sharing the success stories and milestones of our members. Read on to find out more about the companies that are transforming industries through constant innovation.
“We believe there are no such things as incurable diseases, only conditions for which a cure has not been found yet,” states the mission of our member company FindMeCure.
The company was originally launched to address a personal problem, faced by its CEO Maya Zlatanova. Her sister was suffering from a disease for which no treatment was available yet. So, Maya decided to look for a clinical trial that could help her out. But it was far from easy.
Helping others in similar situations
Maya is an industry-known speaker and author of articles about patient engagement with over 10 years of experience in the clinical research industry. Despite her extensive experience, finding the right clinical trial for her sister was a daunting task.
Once Maya started trying to identify clinical trials, other people found out about it and reached out to her for help for their close ones.
“I realized this is a very common problem because many patients lack the much-needed awareness and support,” she adds.
This widespread problem inspired a successful collaboration between Maya and the future co-founders and clinical trial software developers Ivaylo Yosifov (CTO) and Miroslav Valchev (COO). Ivaylo was one of the lead developers behind the British National Clinical Trial Register and Miroslav behind its Australian equivalent.
“Miro and Ivo wanted to use their tech superpowers and together we launched FindMeCure to streamline the way people access treatments in development.”
To date, FindMeCure has helped a countless number of people to find, understand and join clinical trials as an alternative treatment option. In its early days, the company was funded by Maya’s co-founders, using the proceeds of their previous software consultancy company. In 2017, FindMeCure joined the Techstars London accelerator program. They received further funding from LAUNCHub Ventures,UK and Bulgarian-based investors.
Putting the patient first
“Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry is way more complicated than even people working in it realize. This makes all of the ‘obvious and easy-to-solve’ problems complex,” according to Maya.
She explains that FindMeCure’s success can be attributed to two main factors:
1. Always putting the patient first.
2. Striving to simplify the complex processes of patient recruitment.
“We have focused on the patients by helping them find, understand and apply for a clinical trial online which normally happens only with a doctor that you need to know upfront and is involved in a clinical trial already,” says Maya.
The other key focus of the company falls on the pharmaceutical and research companies – providing them with the patients’ perspective while planning a new clinical trial and making sure they avoid unnecessary and fatal delays down the road.
“We bring thousands of reliable data sources, analyze them and ensure that our industry customers make the best choices where and how to run the clinical trial so that they can engage with the most interested patients.”
Ultimately, FindMeCure strives to improve the odds of potentially life-saving drugs to reach the market and the patients that need them.
“I doubt there’s a better motivator than saving and improving human lives at scale,” concludes Maya.
Part of a larger community
18 months ago, FindMeCure decided to join our community. When asked how it feels to be part of the Campus X ecosystem, Maya answers enthusiastically:
“It feels like home business-wise. It’s great to be surrounded by other startups and to be able to exchange ideas and support each other. Having other founders and mentors with an experience that you can reach out to is invaluable and I hope there will be more places like Campus X in Bulgaria.”
Furthermore, Maya finds it beneficial that the Campus X team takes care of the daily administrative tasks like IT infrastructure, office materials, meeting rooms, cleaning, to name a few.
“We were already at a point, where we no longer wanted to be distracted with the daily admin tasks of running your own office. We would rather use this time to focus on our business’ growth.”
Clinical trials are outdated. Even if you fit the list of 50 criteria, you might not be able to join because the nearest hospital participating in the trial is 300 km away, as Maya points out.
“We want to change that and bring the trial to the patient at the comfort of their own home. This is at least 5 years away, but we have the right team and attitude to get there.”