Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Krishma Shah: Making clinical trials more efficient

The cofounder of CliniBiz on a mission to break the inefficiencies in clinical trials, which has few big players and are rather slow and inefficient. Her goal: New treatments should be accessible to all

Manu Balachandran
Published: Feb 17, 2022 11:39:19 AM IST
Updated: Feb 17, 2022 12:02:29 PM IST

Krishma Shah: Making clinical trials more efficientKrishma Shah believes new treatments should be accessible to all
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Krishma Shah, 28
Co-founder, CliniBiz

Krishma Shah has always been fascinated by biotechnology. “It was more about genes and ancestry that I was interested in from a young age,” says Shah, co-founder of CliniBiz, a US-based health care venture engaged in clinical trials.

After studying biotechnology at the Jai Hind College in Mumbai, Shah was among the youngest in her batch at the illustrious Columbia University to graduate in 2015 with a focus on genetics and immunology. “Having conducted respiratory virus research under Dr Ian Lipkin, at the Centre for Infection and Immunology, at 23, I wanted to do more to make research available to not just the elite few,” says Shah. Lipkin is well-known for his work with West Nile virus, SARS and Covid-19, among others.

Soon after, Shah realised the massive shortcomings in patient safety in clinical trials and the time gap when it comes to bringing breakthrough technologies to patients. “I took a conscious decision to do something on the business side,” Shah says. That’s when she met Moe Alsumidaie who was running a clinical trial data analytics company, Annex Clinical. The two then decided to join hands to start CliniBiz. “We realised we wanted to break the inefficiencies in clinical trials, which had few big players, and were rather slow and inefficient,” says Shah. “I believed that new treatments should be accessible to all.” CliniBiz is a research enterprise that partners with investigators to expand new and existing research initiatives, and claims to bring operational and quality management workflows to oversee study operations.

“The current players in the industry are CROs that use antiquated processes, making it unaffordable for smaller biotech startups, limiting the advancement of novel therapeutics. Using automation, we allowed startup biopharmas to advance their therapies without the cost limitations. With my base in India and access to cost-efficient labour, and Moe in New York with access to biotech companies, we started a completely remote worldwide company in 2016,” says Shah.

Krishma Shah: Making clinical trials more efficient

“Krishma is an outstanding strategic thinker, and her ability to analyse issues from multiple perspectives has enabled CliniBiz to streamline and create breakthrough product offerings while increasing efficiencies in all aspects of the engagement lifecycle,” says Mitchell Klein, founder and CEO of Hudson Valley System, and a health care consultant.

The company now plans to scale up global operations by creating a model that can be replicated across research centres and hospitals worldwide. They want to attempt setting up clinical trial infrastructure in India with the help of the Indian Council of Medical Research, Shah says. “I would like to expand our gene sequencing abilities and harness the power of our data mine to use analytics to better predict the future of diseases.”

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