We crowdfund £2 million for cancer busting virus & pioneer new model to fundraise for medical research
Crowdfunded £2 million
Global media coverage
Pioneer new model for medical research.
Raise funding for clinical trial
In 2012 we raised £2million in eight months to finance a clinical trial of a potential treatment for neuroendocrine cancer (also called NETs or carcinoids.)
The promising compound was a form of immunotherapy – a modified virus that targeted only cancer cells – and it was sitting neglected in a research lab freezer at Uppsala University, Sweden.
The researchers were unable to secure funding for the trial themselves largely because they had made their findings public – meaning that no pharmaceutical company would touch it as there was no profit to be made.
We wanted to put patients before profit and decided to run a crowdfunding campaign to raise the money so the trial could begin.
The Financial Times called our campaign, ‘the most successful medical crowdfunding campaign in web history.’
Using social media and heritage media (TV, Print, Radio) we engaged with patients around the world who all generously donated to get this clinical trial off the ground. It was the first-time funds had been raised for a clinical trial in this way.
We joined forces with communications consultant Dominic Nutt and author Alexander Master and together we launched the campaign. The donations immediately started flooding in.
From a standing start we quickly brought together a global community of people who recognised their collective ability to bypass global pharma and fund medical treatments themselves.
The most successful medical crowdfunding campaign in web history.Financial Times
We achieved significant national and international coverage including Radio 4 Today, Financial Times, Telegraph, The Guardian and Mashable and the respected science journal, Nature, among many others.
We also received huge celebrity support on Twitter.
When we saw your iCancer campaign go up everybody in the office took notice because it was new.Danae Ringleman, CEO Indiegogo (the crowdfunding platform we used)
Most interesting was the rich and vocal debate we sparked in the cancer research community with our new approach to funding research.
We announced in the Telegraph on June 15th 2013 that we had reached our £2million goal, eight months after the campaign launched.
Making clinical trials more accessible for patients
Since the iCancer trial began in 2015 we have discovered how difficult it is to recruit patients.
According the the Tuft Centre for Drug Development (a leading think tank at Tufts University in USA) 80-90% of clinical trials fail to hit recruitment targets on time and 27% of trial sites are unable to recruit a single patient.
In addition only 0.2% of clinicians are referring patients into trials.
In 2019 we started work on a new digital tool that will enable patients to more easily access and join clinical trials and consultants and principal investigators to more easily find suitable patients.
Read more about this project here.