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AI start-up with platform that speeds up drug discovery scoops $1 million investment

AI start-up with platform that speeds up drug discovery scoops $1 million investment

16 July 2020
Image: Chronis Yan

Start-up iLoF (Intelligent Lab on Fiber), uses artificial intelligence (AI) and biophotonics to detect neurogenerative biomarkers and optimise the clinical trial selection process for diseases such as Alzheimer's.

iLoF also won the EIT Health Wild Card competition in 2019 and has secured $1 million in investment from Microsoft’s Venture Fund, M12 and Mayfield Fund.

Following the team’s entry into the EIT Health open innovation Wild Card programme in 2019, iLoF was formed and €2million in investment plus a mentoring package was provided to develop the company and solution. Honing in on the repeated clinical trial failures in neurogenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, the solution aims to improve the process of clinical trial screening and speed up drug discovery in diseases with little, or no, treatment options.

iLof has also attracted the attention of the biotech world, with its cofounders being named in the 2020 Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list in the science and healthcare category.1 Additionally, the team are finalists in the M12 Female Founders Competition.

“It is fantastic to see iLoF go from strength to strength following their formation as part of the EIT Health Wild Card programme”, said Jorge Juan Fernández García, Director of Innovation, EIT Health. “Wild Card was created to discover and develop highly talented individuals who can come together to form new companies that break ground in areas where solutions to challenges remain undiscovered. Effective treatments for neurodegenerative diseases are desperately needed yet continue to evade us - innovation in the research process to find new strategies in tackling such diseases will have significant impact, not to mention scientific value. We look forward to continuing working with iLoF and supporting them as they advance in their journey,” he added.

Challenges surrounding current clinical trial processes are significantly hindering the discovery of potential treatments in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, including difficulties in recruiting and retaining participants.3 iLoF’s solution uses biophotonics (the study of optical processes in biological systems allowing the imaging and sensing of cells and tissue) and AI to develop non-invasive methods of screening patients for clinical trials, and aims to accelerate the drug discovery process and make it more economically viable.

“This investment will be crucial to our mission of accelerating personalised treatments for patients all around the world”, said Luis Valente, CEO of iLoF. “Our platform technology is growing rapidly and is already being deployed with leading hospitals and biotechs around the globe, expediting the discovery and development of new therapeutics for neurogenerative diseases. By 2021, we aim to enrol a large-scale clinical trial as a precise, non-invasive pre-screening tool for Alzheimer’s, bringing us one step closer to our goal of making the patient’s journey much more humane and convenient, while drastically transforming the whole process into a more efficient and flexible experience for the industry.

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