Customer Story

Circle Pharma Simplifies Spend Management and Accelerates Growth with Procurify

Circle Pharma is a pre-clinical stage life sciences organization developing a new paradigm for macrocycle drug discovery. Deploying structure-based rational design and synthetic chemistry, they are initially focusing development efforts on intracellular protein-protein interactions that are key drivers in cancer.

Circle raised a $66M Series C financing round in June 2021. Proceeds from the financing were allocated to advancing cyclin-targeted programs towards the clinic, which required them to triple in size from 12 to 36 team members. To support this growth, they needed to increase their capacity to track spending and report on budgets.

With the help of Procurify, Circle successfully increased visibility into their spending, ensuring that every dollar available is used to bring innovative, first-in-class therapies to patients.

South San Francisco, California

The challenges

In early 2021, Circle Pharma was in the midst of accelerated growth, scaling operations to empower scientists in their discoveries. Having closed a $45M Series B in 2020, they knew the importance of tracking and reporting on spend. Circle needed to increase their capacity in budget tracking, continuing to build a proactive spend management culture.

Amy Cowgill, Senior Director of Business Operations, joined Circle Pharma in 2020 to build out the business operations function. Inspired by the team’s brilliant research, and with a mission to make every dollar count, Cowgill saw an immediate opportunity to increase efficiency in the way laboratory and operations teams worked together to manage budgets.

Circle Pharma needed a system that supported biotech-specific purchasing and that would help teams move to more efficient, automated processes. Cowgill was specifically looking for a tool to help overcome the organization’s challenges:

  • Manual, ad hoc process: Before Procurify, scientists at Circle relied on spreadsheets and emails to request and approve purchases; purchase orders had to be manually created in Excel.

  • Lack of budget visibility: Without real-time visibility, scientists lacked an understanding of how purchase orders would impact their budgets. Cowgill knew that proactive budget reporting and the ability to forecast spend against budgets was key to creating a sustainable biotech organization.

  • Disconnect between procurement and finance: With expectations from investors to report on how funding is spent, accounting teams within biotech organizations need a way to identify what invoices are ready for payment, as well as be able to pull detailed accounting reports for financial audits.

The solution

After doing a full comparison of Procurify against alternative biotech-specific spending solutions – and having a well-respected biotech organization refer Procurify to Cowgill – the team selected Procurify as their go-to spend management platform. Today, the team benefits from:

  • A faster purchasing process for scientists: Thanks to Procurify, scientists at Circle now have their time back, and teams benefit from streamlined requests and approvals. In Cowgill’s words, “We’ve experienced huge time savings.”

  • Real-time budget visibility: Real-time visibility into budgets empowers teams to manage their own velocity, moving quickly when needed and slowing down before overspending. With Procurify, Cowgill provides scientists with better visibility into their spend.Once the budgets are set in Procurify, Circle can begin monitoring spend in real time.

  • Understanding what’s OK to pay: Having all of the purchase data live in Procurify helps Circle Pharma understand the story behind each bill. If more information is needed, accounting teams can see a clear record of who put in the initial request. In addition to managing bill payments, three-way matching within Procurify has helped Circle Pharma become more prepared for audits.


Circle Pharma continues to improve operations to drive the team’s efforts towards what really matters: drug discovery and development.

The team’s dedication to science shines throughout every department at Circle, with each team member striving to create more efficient, effective processes within their roles. With Nobel Laureate William G. Kaelin Jr., of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, on Circle’s scientific advisory board, it’s clear that Circle Pharma operates with a “science-first” mindset.

With their energy now focused on the development of new drugs, the team at Circle Pharma will continue to improve the way they operate cross functionally through their systems, governance structures, and processes.

Find out how Procurify can help your organization:

  • Gain real-time visibility into budgets to encourage more proactive spend management

  • Streamline requests and approvals to free up time to focus on what matters

  • Empower AP teams to successfully complete a three-way match and understand what’s OK to pay