UK FUNDS BACK DNA DATA MINER THAT CAN DIAGNOSE DISEASE
A biotech offering artificial intelligence that can diagnose diseases by mining hundreds of thousands of patients’ DNA data has completed a $30m (£22.6m) fundraising, backed by names including UK venture capital giant Balderton Capital.
Sophia Genetics said it would use the cash to expand its network of hospital tie-ups, which already stands at 330 hospitals in 53 countries, including nine in the UK. The push will be focused on expansion outside Europe.
It will also help fund a move into cancer diagnostics, with the latest therapies from drugmakers increasingly being tailored to suit a patient’s genetic profile.
Swiss-based Sophia Genetics has already analysed the genomic profiles of over 125,000 patients, providing a database that aids doctors in diagnosing a range of conditions from cystic fibrosis and hereditary heart problems.
Dr Jurgi Camblong, chief executive at Sophia, told The Daily Telegraph: “A doctor can find out that a patient’s cancer looks like the cancer of 10,000 other patients and see what worked for them.
“We’re not asking hospitals to produce anything new. The information is already there. It’s about breaking down the silos and making sure everyone can benefit from these large data sets.”
Other investors in the round include tech entrepreneur Mike Lynch’s Invoke Capital, French fund 360 Capital and Alychlo, started by Belgian pharmaceutical expert Mark Coucke. It follows an earlier $30m fundraising.
Genomics is one of the fastest-growing fields of medicine worldwide and was one of the key emerging fields identified by the UK’s recent industrial strategy to boost the country’s £63bn life sciences industry.