Announcing Our Investment in Evidence Partners

Updated: Sep 8

We are excited to announce our investment in Evidence Partners Inc., the market leader in AI-enabled literature review automation software and creator of DistillerSR™. The company closed a $20M growth financing round led by Thomvest Ventures with participation from Pender Ventures and Export Development Canada (EDC).


Evidence-based research in healthcare was introduced more than three decades ago to shift the emphasis in clinical decision-making from intuition and unsystematic experience to scientific, clinically relevant research. Literature reviews also inform revenue and policy decisions across healthcare sectors and they are required for regulatory submissions and safety monitoring for drug, medical device and other product approvals. Beyond just healthcare – government agencies, including food, health, and the environment require such a solution for pandemic or disaster response, policy and other practice guidelines.


Researchers must search multiple sources (e.g., published articles in medical journals) to find data, results and conclusions of valid, reputable studies. With the explosion of data, there are now millions of scientific papers produced each year and billions of citations and references to sift through, making literature reviews a difficult and time-consuming undertaking. This, coupled with new, stricter regulations mandating literature reviews as part of the approval process for medical products, means organizations are facing major challenges in keeping up with their literature review backlogs. Researchers need a solution that will reduce the time and cost of producing reviews, while improving data quality, transparency and reproducibility.


Evidence Partners’ DistillerSR™ product automates the management of literature collection, screening and assessment using AI and intelligent workflows. By automating their systematic reviews, Evidence Partners allows healthcare researchers to make more informed and time-sensitive health policy decisions, clinical practice guidelines, and regulatory submissions, while empowering them to deliver better overall research.


Evidence Partners has a diversified, global, blue-chip customer base that includes academic institutions, six of the top 10 medical device companies, six of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies, over 25 government agencies in the US, EU and Canada and more than 40 contract research organizations.


The roots of the company trace back to 2008, when co-founders Peter O’Blenis, Ian Stefanison and Jonathan Barker worked out of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, which is affiliated with Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa. At the time, the co-founders were working at another early-stage company, TrialStat, which was building an electronic data platform to manage clinical patient data during drug trials. Working side by side with some of the world’s leaders in literature review, the team discovered that researchers were still largely using Excel and paper-based processes, and had a pressing desire to find a better way to conduct reviews. This discovery laid the ground work for the early prototyping of DistillerSR™ and the inception of Evidence Partners.


Evidence Partners aligns with our fund thesis of data-centric solutions in health-IT that enable practitioners to make better informed decisions. As an investor with a strong focus on health-IT, we understand the challenges and opportunities of utilizing health data. Healthcare providers and innovators not only require robust and reliable data, but also a ready market with end-users who are prepared to embrace change and adopt new technology.


We are delighted to partner with the team at Evidence Partners, who have been working passionately to solve customer problems in an area that has a dramatic impact across healthcare and other mission critical sectors.