Company: Sano Genetics
Founders: William Jones, Charlotte Guzzo and Patrick Short
Business: Helps people living with rare and chronic conditions contribute to personalised medicine research
About Sano Genetics
Sano Genetics helps people living with rare and chronic conditions contribute to personalised medicine research effortlessly and on their terms. Sano Genetics matchmakes people to studies through their participant engagement platform.
The co-founders met at Cambridge University while studying postgraduate genomics.
Their broad mission is to dramatically improve the experience of taking part in groundbreaking research and significantly speed up the development of new medicines. To date they have raised £3M in pre-seed and seed funding rounds, plus four grants from Innovate UK totalling £880,000.
Sano Genetics solves some huge problems in personalised medicine research: half of clinical trials are delayed due to recruitment issues and 85% fail because they can’t retain enough participants. Then there are problems with signposting, proximity to hospitals and testing centres and understandable concerns around how sensitive data will be used.
Through their platform, participants can learn about new studies and take part effortlessly and at no cost to them, using at-home testing kits. They provide access to free genome sequencing and analysis and alleviate patient concerns around data: their platform is ‘private by design’, offering users total transparency and control around how their data is used.
They adopt other innovations that are widespread in other sectors, including engaging and user-friendly digital interfaces that guide people through the process, and dynamic personalised feedback.
Sano Genetics’ clients are biotech and pharma companies running studies in precision medicine research for conditions including Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, long Covid, ulcerative colitis, NAFLD and Alzheimer’s.
They have had to overcome challenges. The UK’s departure from the EU has made business operations and logistics more challenging and costs have increased.
But, while it has caused delays in clinical research, it has also reminded them of how important medical infrastructure is for society and has highlighted the challenges the industry faces. That means great opportunities for ambitious startups like their. They now have a ‘genetics of long Covid’ study underway, partly funded by Innovate UK.
Covid-19 has also transformed how they work: they are now a fully remote company. From a talent perspective, this has opened doors. They can now access a much larger pool of talent.
Sano Genetics anticipates the next year to be a big one as they close a Series A funding round that will enable them to expand internationally and power more groundbreaking research. Today it takes an average of 15 years for a new medicine to reach patients, and they will continue to work to accelerate this process and positively impact billions of lives.
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