Sano Genetics, a software company working to accelerate precision medicine research, has raised $11.4 million in new funding, led by Plural with participation from existing investors including MMC Ventures, Episode 1 and Seedcamp.
Sano Genetics is developing software which combines genetic testing, recruitment, and long-term engagement in one platform, accelerating enrollment and simplifying operations for precision medicine teams.
The new funding, which brings the total raised to $22 million, will be used to meet the growing demand for the company’s products, leverage AI further and expand its reach to more countries.
Solving bottlenecks in precision medicine R&D
Medical trials underpin modern healthcare yet clinical research is an incredibly complex and time-consuming process for both patients and companies running trials, including pharmaceutical companies and emerging biotech startups. Access and referrals for patients to join trials often depend on the hospital or location where they’re receiving treatment – which is why recruiting for clinical trials is one of the biggest challenges in research. Only one in five trials find enough participants in the predefined time frame, which means patients continue to wait for potentially new and better treatment options.
When it comes to precision medicine, which requires understanding the genetics of patients and tailoring drugs to suit them, it can be even more difficult for researchers to find the right patients for a trial. In these highly regulated environments, it can be difficult for large organisations to incorporate the latest technology into their methodology, meaning existing solutions for patient recruitment, genetic testing and engagement can be slow and cumbersome. This is why the average R&D for a new precision oncology drug is $3.53 billion, rising to $4.62bn for non-precision oncology medicines.
Sano Genetics connects patients across the UK, US, Australia and Canada, with pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies conducting clinical trials, and then supports with recruitment of suitable patients, including advertising through social media and via healthcare providers.
A generational shift in drug development
Precision medicine marks a generational shift in drug development, as clinical trials using genetic data have a 26% success rate compared to 10% for standard clinical trials.
The Sano Genetics platform has supported close to 20+ different studies, from rare and ultra-rare diseases affecting newborn babies, all the way to neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s.
Patrick Short, Co-founder and CEO of Sano Genetics, said: “Precision medicine is transforming how we think about and approach healthcare, and clinical trials are the bedrock of precision drug development. In the past 12 months, we’ve scaled up our capacity to hold three times more trials than the year before and launched our first programme supporting families affected by ALS. I’m so pleased with everything the team has achieved so far and this new funding will help us to integrate LLMs and other AI tools to drive more productivity. This will help us continue our growth trajectory, particularly with the help of visionary investors like Carina Namih, who supported our seed round and is now supporting us again at Plural.”