Sano Genetics is building patient-friendly tech and matchmaking people to research to help pharma and biobanks make discoveries and develop personalised treatments more quickly and cost-effectively.
Drug development takes 10-15 years and many medicines never make it out of R&D because recruitment is painful, participant dropout rates are high and costs are prohibitive.
Sano Genetics, co-founded by three University of Cambridge genomics postgraduates, has raised $11M in a Series A funding round led by MMC Ventures, with further funding from Episode 1, Seedcamp and several experienced operators in software and life sciences including Paul Forster, a co-founder and former CEO of Indeed, Paul Wicks, former VP of innovation at PatientsLikeMe, and Margo Georgiadis, the former CEO of Ancestry.com.
Sano has developed a software platform that connects patients living with rare and chronic conditions, such as Long Covid, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, directly with biotech and pharma companies leading personalised medicine research – a market worth $52.4B in 2020 and predicted to reach $112.8B by 2027.
It also offers its biotech and pharma clients the ability to power branded portals for participant recruitment and engagement, on a national or global scale.
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Sano Genetics raised £3M in seed funding to develop the platform and bring in industry leading customers and partners including precision medicine developers BenevolentAI, ESCAPE Bio, and population-scale cohorts such as the NIHR BioResource.
The company has doubled its revenue every six months since inception and forged strong partnerships with the top genetic biobanks in the UK and Australia, as well as patient groups.
The company will use this latest round of funding to grow its team in the US and Europe, and develop its platform to meet demand in 50+ diseases and 6+ countries by mid 2023.
As well as speeding up the development of new medicines, Sano Genetics aims to dramatically improve the experience for those who take part in potentially life-changing research. Participants receive regular updates as well as insights based on their genetic profiles, and have total control over their data from the intuitive, private-by-design user interface.
There is no cost to participants, who use at-home DNA kits to take part. Sano Genetics operates a subscription model, charging its pharma, biotech and population health clients for use of its platform.
Dr Patrick Short, CEO and co-founder of Sano Genetics, says: “It still takes 10 to 15 years for new drugs to reach patients, and many will never make it out of R&D because costs are prohibitive. This funding takes us closer to our mission to build the platform that we, and many others – patients and researchers – wish was available a decade ago. One that will make research much faster, more cost-effective, and a vastly better experience for patients.”
Charlotte Barttelot, investor at MMC Ventures, says: “Since meeting Patrick and the Sano team, we have been consistently impressed with their unwavering purpose-led strategy to promote access to, and the success of, personalised medicine. To deliver on the promise of this new approach to treatment, there is an urgent need to solve the largest problems in clinical trials: patient recruitment and engagement. This is where Sano’s innovative software platform, which allows them to interact directly with patients, biotech and broader healthcare communities, can be transformational for the future of personalised medicine.”