Four years ago, Circuit Clinical founder and Chief Strategy Officer Irfan Khan, M.D., was the head cardiologist at Buffalo Mercy. He knew he wanted to develop his own startup providing clinical services by connecting physicians with pharmaceutical trials to benefit his patients. He just didn’t know where he would do it.
On the verge of moving to Denver to start the business, to the point where he was looking at homes on the eastern slope of the Colorado Rockies, Khan was lured to stay as Buffalo’s business climate exploded.
Since then, the company has grown by leaps and bounds, opening its new 10,000-square-foot location on Delaware Avenue and signing a five-year partnership with the Buffalo Institute of Genomics at the University of Buffalo — a $1.1 million deal that is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion investment.
On Oct. 17, Circuit Clinical announced a new partnership with ePatientFinder, making it the largest research site network in the U.S. Together, the two will serve over 200 clinical sites.
“This partnership triples Circuit Clinical’s existing network of more than one million patients and extends our geographic reach from Western New York to the rest of the nation,” Khan said.
The partnership sets up the already rapidly growing company to continue its aggressive hiring. With the UB Medical Campus nearby, Khan said recruitment of top talent is not an issue, and the best and brightest in other cities now want to come here. The company estimates it may grow its staff to over 100 with the UB BIG partnership.
Three key elements, Khan said, were what sealed the decision to keep the company in Buffalo.
The first was Circuit Clinical’s involvement in the START-UP NY incentive program. Khan said the ease of working with the program provided a tremendous incentive to stay.
The second was the agreement with the Buffalo Institute of Genomics, which has been beneficial for both organizations. “This was a pivotal moment in our growth,” Khan said. The company started with nine employees at its Goodell Street location before moving to Delaware Avenue last month.
Finally, Circuit Clinical’s experience as a finalist in the 43North business plan competition and the exposure it gave the company made the decision to stay in Western New York apparent. “The right place for Circuit to grow is in Buffalo,” Khan said. “We’re just beginning to realize how many great things we have here.”
Circuit Clinical partners with community physicians to provide on-site coordination, support, and training to make it easier for physicians to participate in research while providing better care opportunities for their patients. ePatientFinder and Circuit Clinical offer complementary services that together create a seamless digital experience for patients interested in participating in clinical research in their doctors’ offices. By using the referral cluster model, research sites dramatically increase their patient pool by tapping into physicians that are geographically convenient to a research site. Participating in clinical research gives patients early access to cutting-edge treatment alternatives and potentially lifesaving therapies, according to company representatives.
With more than $5 million in private financing through local banks and a growing list of networks and business partners, Khan said the company is on solid footing and looking to grow its company through local talent, especially from the nearby universities.
“We’re very proud to be a small part of Buffalo’s growing business climate,” Khan added.