Crowdfunding a viable option for clinical trials

Tuesday, 28 Jul 2015


Crowdfunding may be an alternative way to fund your next randomised controlled trial, a review of the major public funding sites suggests.

A team of researchers from McMaster University in Canada searched several crowdfunding websites* for clinical studies that had successfully funded their studies through public funding. 

They discovered that eight out of 13 completed campaigns had achieved their fundraising goals. Unsuccessful campaigns raised 1–6% of the funding sought, reported the authors in the Lancet

The maximum funds raised were US$3 113 000 for the Oncolytic Virus for Patients with Neuroendocrine Tumours study.

Crowdfunding might represent an effective option to rapidly raise research funds to do RCTs, but could be particularly useful for pilot or phase 1 studies, they concluded. 

*The crowdfund sites searched included Gofundme, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, Teespring, Patreon, YouCaring, CrowdRise, DonorsChoose, Kiva, and Giveforward, Experiment, Consano, Petridish, and Cancer Research UK.

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