New Investment: Infiuss Health, Powering Clinical Research in Africa

By Julianne Roseman & Diego Arias Garcia Published on October 5, 2022

Plug and Play is excited to announce a new investment in Infiuss Health, a SAAS platform bridging the gap by connecting researchers to hundreds of millions of Africans eligible for clinical studies through a direct-to-patient approach, enabling clinicians to decentralize trials through a unified platform.

Startup Quote Graphic_Infiuss Health

Africa's clinical trial powerhouse potential

Every year, global health research studies fail to reach patient enrollment targets and lose millions of dollars to life science companies. 1.4 billion Africans, a population known for genetic diversity, are excluded from research studies despite the considerable push to test different populations and gather more data and clinical information globally. Only 2.5% of global clinical trials are performed in Africa, which is primarily associated with their lack of infrastructure, resources, human capacity, and deficiency of appropriate training. There is also limited exposure to studies and delays in regulatory and ethical reviews. Researchers are therefore missing out on massive data that could be generated from studying African participants and exposing them to drugs, vaccines, and medical devices that are typically tested on non-African participants. A lack of clinical research has resulted in insufficient healthcare outcomes, which is increasingly noticeable. New therapies work differently on different races and ethnicities, and testing treatments on a broader range of people is critical. Additionally, investigators typically take months to reach recruitment goals, participants are difficult to reach, and trials often take longer than expected. Solutions are needed to speed up enrollment processes and reach more diverse populations.

The solution is to decentralize access to clinical research by diversifying participant cohorts and shortening drug development timelines. Infiuss Health offers a platform to encourage Africans to participate in clinical trials and expose populations to research for drugs, vaccines, and more. This platform makes finding participants more accessible for researchers and clinicians, and the software provides a faster and less expensive method to develop trials. Clinicians and researchers will be able to access patients for remote clinical trials, to bring more research and gather data in Africa. The platform offers clinicians the necessary infrastructure to do research by sourcing principal investigators (PIs), investigational sites, and participants. This software provides clinicians with the resources required to cut costs and save time in drug development clinical trials, ultimately developing solutions faster.

Infiuss Health offers a unified end-to-end platform for running fully remote and hybrid clinical trials in Africa to enable access to clinical research and studies on a global scale. In minutes, the platform can launch a clinical study and find thousands of vetted, eligible participants, sites, and primary investigators. The software helps researchers remotely recruit participants, collect remote patient consent, collect and analyze data, and provide virtual support 20 times faster and cheaper than third-party contract research organizations.

The team behind Infiuss Health

Startup Profile Graphic_Infiuss Health

Melissa Bime is the co-founder and CEO of Infiuss Health. She previously worked on donor recruitment and blood delivery before starting Infiuss Health and has experience building and operating clinical software, as well as a great understanding of the health market in Africa. She was a nurse and has firsthand experience of the challenges patients face across diverse health care settings in Africa. She received her Master's Fellowship from Stanford and her RN from University of Buea.

Nneka Margaret Handschin, PhD, is the Chief of Clinical Operations and Partnerships. She has over 17 years of experience working across clinical research, operations, and clinical science and has worked across multinational pharmaceutical companies and CROs. She has a deep understanding of the therapeutic space and is interested in understanding how to reverse chronic diseases and promote healing. Nneka previously founded ILLVMEA clinical research, and worked as an independent clinical research consultant for freelance for 6 years. She received a masters of Science from the University of Oxford, and a doctor of philosophy from the University of Cambridge.

Plug and Play is excited to partner with Infiuss Health and support their efforts to make clinical research accessible to all Africans.