Tom Lemberg is on a mission to modernize healthcare. As the founder and CEO of Curebase – a decentralized clinical research solution that enables any patient, anywhere to participate in clinical trials at home or in their own community with their own doctor – he is well on his way.
Lemberg, who lives with his wife in San Francisco, grew up in Bloomfield Hills. He graduated from Cranbrook Kingswood before heading to Harvard University where he earned a degree in computer science and molecular and cellular biology.
“Cranbrook was a great place to get a well-rounded education with science and math and other areas as well,” said Lemberg. It also prepared him for college and the real world ahead. “Being a founder and CEO requires a lot of different skills and sensibilities,” he explained. In addition to the subjects he studied in school, he also learned how to work together, which helps him collaborate and direct the people who work for the company.
Curebase has grown to include 80 employees, and the company has received $19 million in funding so far. The software technology and virtual staff allows clinical trial participation and data collection settings almost anywhere – from local clinics to mobile care, telehealth, drive-through sites and more.
Their objective is to accelerate the clinical trial process by 50 percent, increase patient diversity by 50 percent and transform the $50 billion-plus clinical trial market.
“The goal is to enable any patient to be in a clinical trial,” said Lemberg. “With digital technology, you can find one and sign up, just like ordering food or buying car insurance.”
The premise of the streamlined process is both practical and compassionate as Curebase makes it easier for patients and medical personnel to navigate clinical trials that are known for being difficult to access.
In reality, most patients don’t live near a traditional research site. With decentralized clinical trials, the research can reach a patient at home or in medical settings like a doctor’s office in their own community. “A lot of steps can be done at home, like telemedicine and sending kits to people,” Lemberg said.
Curebase has run over 60 studies with more than 60,000 patients, including COVID diagnostic trials during the pandemic. People often hear about the company through advocacy groups and online communities.
Lemberg felt he could make a unique contribution to the industry with his computer software and science background. “I’ve been programming my whole life. It came naturally to me,” he said. “I really wanted to do something impactful that affects peoples’ lives.”
The benefits are multifaceted. “We try to make clinical trials that anyone, anywhere, can participate in and increase diversity and bring new drugs to market faster,” said Lemberg, who started the company in 2017. “I’m really proud that we’ve had more diversity than the industry average.”
He and his company have received many accolades for their efforts. In 2022, Lemberg was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 for making positive global change in healthcare. “It helps me grow the business and get our name out there,” he said.
As for what his future may hold, Lemberg hopes to grow the company to run thousands of clinical trials. His motivation is the participants. “We apply software technology to problems that are important to people’s well-being,” he said. “I want to change people’s lives.”
Story: Jeanine Matlow