Symbiosis Capital, HealthTech Arkansas team up to form clinical trials accelerator

A new accelerator program in Arkansas targeting biotech startups from around the world is now looking for applicants interested in tapping into clinical trial sites in the state capable of quickly enrolling diverse groups of patients for their drug studies.

The accelerator, named BioAR Trial, is the product of HealthTech Arkansas, an organization that fosters innovation in Arkansas through accelerators and other programs, and investment firm Symbiosis Capital Management. Bentonville, Arkansas-based SymBiosis’s investments include cell therapy developer Adicet Bio, microbiome therapies developer MaaT Pharma, and gene therapy biotech Ensoma.

BioAR Trial is looking for late-preclinical companies planning to enter the clinic in the next 12 months, or companies that are looking to start Phase 2 or 3 studies. The accelerator is focused on developing advanced and emerging therapies, such as precision medicines, biologics, cell therapies, and genetic medicines. Those therapies can be in a range of indications that include cancer, immune disorders, and cardio-metabolic disease.

Companies accepted into BioAR Trial will be guaranteed a clinical trial site in Arkansas. The accelerator will also work with those companies to facilitate the clinical trials. Participating companies do not need to relocate to Arkansas, but a company representative will need to be present at a clinical trial site as needed. Jahan Ali, vice president of business development at SymBiosis, will lead BioAR Trial.

“We take very seriously the task of helping to accelerate the growth and success of companies developing some of the world’s most-promising therapeutics by streamlining the clinical trial process,” Ali said in a prepared statement. “The combination of SymBiosis and HealthTech Arkansas’s resources and capabilities will enable BioAR Trial to do just that.”

Applications to BioAR Trial will be taken through Jan. 15, 2023. A selection committee made up of representatives from health systems and clinical trial sites working with BioAR will review the applications and interview 10 to 15 finalists. Five companies will be admitted into the first cohort of BioAR. The accelerator will take $50,000 in-kind equity in each company.

For more information and to submit an online application, go here. The first cohort of five companies will begin on April 15.