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British health tech Sano raises $11M for matching up patients with clinical trials

Sano Genetics Co-Founders

Sano Genetics, a health tech startup co-founded by three University of Cambridge genomics postgraduates, has raised $11M in Series A funding.

This funding round was 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, Margo Georgiadis, the former CEO of Ancestry.com and Paul Wicks, former VP of innovation at PatientsLikeMe.

The fault in chronic disease research

Clinical research has always been a lengthy affair, lasting years, in a bid to come up with effective treatments. Patient compliance and retention have been critical to influencing the success of these trials. Dropouts have resulted in costly delays as well as data errors that could compromise a study’s data and results.

Patient dropouts are often a result of inconveniences to the patients, unclear expectations, condition stagnancy and a feeling of lacking appreciation, just to name a few. The result has been an often unreliable drug development system that is lengthy, uncertain and expensive.

“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.” Dr Patrick Short, CEO and co-founder of Sano Genetics, was quoted.

Accelerating R&D in drug development

Based in Cambridge, UK, Sano Genetics was founded in 2017 by three genomics students: Charlotte Guzzo (COO), Patrick Short (CEO) and William Jones (CTO). Sano helps accelerate precision medicine research by finding people willing to contribute to studies and helping them do so effortlessly and on their terms.

The company 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 that lead in personalized medicine research. 

Their platform also enables biotech and pharma clients to power branded portals for participant recruitment and engagement, on national or global scales.

Sano Genetics aims to drastically improve the experiences of individuals taking part in potentially life-changing research. Participants will receive regular updates as well as insights based on their genetic profiles and have total data control from the intuitive in a private-by-design user interface. Participants who use at-home DNA kits to take part won’t be charged. Sano Genetics operates a subscription model, charging its pharma, biotech and population health clients for using its platform.

Taking on growth for Sano

Sano Genetics initially raised £3M in seed funding to develop its platform. It brought in industry-leading customers and partners including precision medicine developers BenevolentAI, ESCAPE Bio, and population-scale cohorts such as the NIHR BioResource.

The company doubled its revenue every 6 months since its inception, forging strong partnerships with the top genetic biobanks in the UK and Australia, as well as patient groups.

This latest funding will allow Sano genetics to grow its team in the US and Europe and develop its platform to meet the demand in 50+ diseases and 6+ countries by mid-2023.

“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.” stated Charlotte Barttelot, an investor at MMC Ventures.

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