Sano Genetics, a start-up with a broad mission to support personalized medicine research by increasing participation in clinical trials, has raised £ 2.5 million in seed funding.
The round is led by Episode1 Ventures, alongside Seedcamp, Cambridge Enterprise, January Ventures and some angel investors in Europe and the US. It adds £ 500,000 in pre-seed funding from 2018.
Snow Genetics says part of the new capital will be to fund free DNA testing kits for the home for 3,000 people affected by a long COVID. It will also invest further in developing its technology platform and grow the team.
Snow Genetics, founded in 2017 by Charlotte Gozo, Patrick Short and William Jones after meeting at Cambridge University while studying genomics as postgraduates, built what she describes as a “private by design” technology platform to help patients take part in research Medical and clinical trials. This includes genetic testing capabilities at home, and she sees the company supporting research on multiple sclerosis, ankylosing spondylitis, NAFLD and ulcerative colitis 2, with a Parkinson’s disease research plan on the horizon later in 2021.
“For medical research participants, the process is not user-friendly,” says Snow Genetics CEO Patrick Short.
“[Therefore]For researchers in biotechnology, pharma and academia, it is very difficult to attract and retain research participants, which adds significant costs and time to their research. “Especially in research that includes genetics and precise treatments, it is twice as challenging to find the ‘right’ patients because genetic testing is not routine in the health system.”
To help with this solution, Sano Genetics is compatible with research-relevant participants through its platform. It then facilitates participation by running genetic testing at home and by directing participants in the process.
“The system is designed so that users know exactly what will happen to their data, and we give them simple ways to control their data,” Short explains. “We engage our users involved and involved in the research process by providing updates on the research they were part of, and with free customized content, including genetic reports, and stories from other people like them on our blog.”
A typical end user is someone who has a chronic or rare disease and uses the platform to participate in research that helps them personally (e.g. access to new treatment through a clinical trial) or to help others like them.
Meanwhile, Snow Genetics generates revenue by charging biotechnology and pharma companies to find the right patients for their studies. “The typical research for us consists of a set-up fee, a commission for each test for testing and genetic analysis in our home, and a fee for each referral we make of an interested participant who is eligible for their research,” he adds. CEO of Snow Genetics.