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Sano Genetics’ $11.4m raise will speed up clinical trials





Precision medicine software company Sano Genetics has raised $11.4m in a new funding round as it leverages AI to manage all aspects of clinical trials.

The company was founded in 2017 when Patrick Short, CEO; Charlotte Guzzo, COO; and William Jones, CTO met while working on their PhDs at the University of Cambridge.

The Sano Genetics leadership team are, from left, CTO William Jones, COO Charlotte Guzzo and CEO Patrick Short. Picture: Keith Heppell
The Sano Genetics leadership team are, from left, CTO William Jones, COO Charlotte Guzzo and CEO Patrick Short. Picture: Keith Heppell

Sano Genetics raised £2.5m in a 2021 seed round for its software which combines genetic testing, recruitment, and long-term engagement in one platform, accelerating enrollment and simplifying operations for precision medicine teams driving breakthroughs for patients.

The goal is the reduction of the costs of developing new drug treatments – the average R&D for a new precision oncology drug is $3.53bn, $4.62bn for non-precision oncology medicines. Part of the reason for mounting costs is that 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 – and more than 30 per cent of trials are precision-driven – 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.

Sano Genetics connects patients across countries, including the UK, US, Australia and Canada, with pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies conducting clinical trials. The company’s platform makes it easier for patients to access precision medical treatment and for companies to bring new, effective drugs to market quickly. By providing a digital matchmaking experience for conducting clinical trials, it becomes quick and seamless for customers to load their new trial into the Sano platform and include the criteria for patients they’re looking for. Sano Genetics then supports with recruitment of suitable patients, including advertising through social media and via healthcare providers – onboarding participants up to three times faster than traditional methods.

The Sano Genetics leadership team is, from left, William Jones, CTO; Patrick Short, CEO; and Charlotte Guzzo, COO
The Sano Genetics leadership team is, from left, William Jones, CTO; Patrick Short, CEO; and Charlotte Guzzo, COO

The new round follows an £8.7m Series A in 2022 and was led by Plural with participation from MMC Ventures, Episode 1 and Seedcamp.

Carina Namih, partner at Plural, said: “Precision medicine is going to transform how healthcare is delivered but it needs seamless software tools like Sano Genetics’ to accelerate its impact. My own experience of the difficulty of running clinical trials during my time leading HelixNano helped me understand profoundly just how sorely a platform like Sano Genetics is needed.”

In 2023, Sano Genetics experienced five-fold ARR growth year-on-year, doubled its headcount to 62, and expanded into the large pharmaceutical market, working with four of the top 20 pharma companies.

Patrick Short 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.”



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