AL: Digital Health Startup Acclinate Plans to Add 25 Workers in Birmingham Expansion | Trade and Industry Development

AL: Digital Health Startup Acclinate Plans to Add 25 Workers in Birmingham Expansion

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Dec 05, 2023
Birmingham-based Acclinate couples community engagement with data analysis to assist biopharmaceutical companies and healthcare researchers in enhancing the diversity of their clinical trials and other health initiatives.

Acclinate, a digital health company that’s confronting the problems posed by the underrepresentation of people of color in clinical research, plans to launch a growth project in Birmingham that will add 25 new full-time workers, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Birmingham-based Acclinate couples community engagement with data analysis to assist biopharmaceutical companies and healthcare researchers in enhancing the diversity of their clinical trials and other health initiatives.

Acclinate’s community platform, NOWINCLUDED, provides health resources, education, and support to help people of color take control of their health and learn about research opportunities. From there, Acclinate clients use the AI/ML platform, e-DICT, to find reporting on their project efforts and unique insights around community members’ willingness to participate in research.

“As we expand our presence in Birmingham, Acclinate remains committed to our mission of health equity through inclusive research,” CEO and Co-founder Dr. Del Smith said.

“This expansion marks another step toward achieving that mission and elevating Birmingham’s health tech ecosystem.”

Acclinate serves academic medical centers, contract research organizations, and clinical trial investigators and sponsors. The company’s predictive analytics platform, e-DICT, provides unique insights around NOWINCLUDED’s community engagement efforts and uses that and external data to fuel the Patient Probability Index —showing the likelihood of a given group’s willingness to participate in the client’s clinical study.

Enrolling diverse patient populations in clinical trials represents a long-standing challenge for healthcare researchers. According to Food and Drug Administration data for clinical trials in 2020, 75% of the participants were White, 11% were Hispanic, 8% were Black, and 6% were Asian.

Because certain diseases predominantly affect unique populations, this underrepresentation can undermine the reliability of research results, which has prompted regulators to call for broader diversity in trials.

By addressing the factors that contribute to the underrepresentation of minorities in clinical trials, Acclinate is seeking to improve the accuracy of clinical trial results, reduce health disparities, and build trust between people of color and the medical community.

“Acclinate is taking aim at a well-documented problem in healthcare research, and this promising startup is expanding its presence in Birmingham to advance its important mission,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“Not only will this expansion project create high-paying jobs, but it will also position the company for future growth,” he added.

With the project, Acclinate plans to expand its operation in the Denham Building in Parkside and create 25 new jobs with an average annual salary of $83,000 over a three-year period, according to the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Out of the company’s 30+ employees, nine are in Birmingham and four others are at a location in Huntsville.

Meanwhile, Acclinate continues to expand industry partnerships to increase outreach, enhance clinical trial data quality, and accelerate the drug development process.

Last December, the company teamed with Trialbee, a Swedish clinical trial technology firm, to increase patient enrollment and retention. In March 2023, it partnered with Savvy, a patient-owned co-op, to provide an enriched patient/community experience for minorities and to advance clinical trial research diversity.

This August, Acclinate partnered with the Alabama federally qualified health center, ARMS, to promote health equity and educate the local community on the value of participating in research.

In addition, Acclinate is among nearly two dozen partners helping to secure  Birmingham’s designation as a federal TechHub, which could ultimately inject $75 million in the city’s economy. The U.S. Economic Development Administration selected the city among 31 locations to compete for five to 10 hubs eligible for significant funding.

The City of Birmingham and Jefferson County joined Commerce in supporting the project. AIDT, the state’s primary workforce development agency, is also providing services to the company.

The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA), which was very active in recruiting Acclinate to the city in 2020 and played a key role facilitating this expansion, projects the total economic impact of the company’s growth plans will approach $4.2 million over 20 years.

Acclinate selected Birmingham for its expansion over Atlanta, according to BBA.

“This is the exact type of high-paying jobs we want to encourage growth in Jefferson County,” said County Commission President Jimmie Stephens. “We appreciate the leadership of the State and support from our partners at the BBA in this expansion of Acclinate, which is a feather in cap of our growing biotech industry.”

Cornell Wesley, Director of the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity at the City of Birmingham, said the City’s support of Acclinate is demonstrated by the awarding of RISE incentives for the project. The Retention Incentives for Success and Expansion, or RISE, program was launched in 2022 to provide resources for area businesses.

“Acclinate, a trailblazer in the pursuit of equitable representation in medical studies, has been diligently working to ensure that minorities are adequately included,” Wesley said.

“By fostering strong ties with this remarkable company, our city not only reinforces its commitment to industry priorities but also guarantees the continued existence and success of a minority health-focused initiative within our diverse community,” he added.

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