ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Medical informatics company MDdatacor has closed on its third round of venture capital, tapping existing investors for another $2.3 million.

The money will help the two-year-old company build on existing contracts and scale up to meet future demand, says Chairman, Chief Executive and President Blake Whitney, who previously co-founded online health information firm WebMD. The company raised $3 million last spring, which he says was used to build out its technology and expand its database capacity.

MDdatacor has developed a patent-pending tool called MDinsight that transfers patient charts, lab files and other medical records in physician offices to a central database and then mines the information to find suitable candidates for clinical trials of drugs and medical devices.

A ‘life preserver’

The technology helps pharmaceutical firms and device manufacturers accelerate clinical trial screening and enrollment processes, reducing the time and cost of new product and drug development. It also allows physicians to identify patients who may need additional medical follow-up.

“We work with trials in trouble,” Whitney says, but he declines to name MDdatacor’s corporate customers. “We help accelerate those that are behind schedule to save money. We’re basically throwing a life preserver to them.”

Industry observers estimate two-thirds of the 3,300 ongoing drug trials are behind schedule, with patient recruitment the primary culprit. A recent report by the Drug Information Association stated that each day of delay in a clinical trial costs the trial sponsor $1.3 million in lost revenues.

MDdatacor does have agreements with the Linked Urology Research Network, a group of seven research-oriented urology practices, and Dianon Systems, a cancer and genomic diagnostic services company, to help market its technology to drug and device firms and gastroenterology practices. The urology practices also use MDinsight to assist them in managing patient information.

Stratford, Conn.-based Dianon, which has agreed to be acquired by LabCorp of Burlington, N.C., also is an investor in MDdatacor, having taken part in each of the past two funding rounds. Other existing investors that participated in the latest round include Snomark, Jupiter Partners and several individuals, according to Whitney.

MDdatacor employs about 20 people, but Whitney couldn’t forecast how much that figure will grow as sales expand.