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Exclusive: Sano Genetics nabs $11.4M for precision medicine trials

Illustration of an AI brain surrounded by shapes, health crosses, and money elements.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Sano Genetics, a software platform to facilitate precision medicine-powered clinical trials, raised $11.4 million in funding, CEO Patrick Short tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: AI can make traditional clinical trials — which are very expensive and take years to complete — more efficient and effective.

Details: The round was led by Plural with participation from existing investors including MMC Ventures, Episode 1 and Seedcamp.

  • This most recent round of funding brings the total raised by the company to $22 million.

How it works: The Cambridge, England-based company is an end-to-end precision medicine-based clinical trial software platform.

  • Sano connects patients in the United Kingdom, U.S., Australia and Canada with pharmaceutical companies and biotech companies conducting clinical trials, making it easier for patients to access precision medical treatment.
  • Once patients are recruited, customers use Sano's platform to manage aspects of the trial including participant communication, facilitating genetic and other biomarker testing, returning results and supporting patients with genetic counseling.

The big picture: Clinical trials that use genetic data have a 26% success rate compared to 10% for standard clinical trials.

What's next: Fresh funds will be used to meet the growing demand for its products, leverage AI further and expand its reach to more countries.

  • "We will probably raise again by the end of this year or early next year if we continue to grow at this pace," Short says.
  • While the company is focused on genetics, it will eventually branch out into other areas such as metabolomics and proteomics using data to prevent, treat and diagnose diseases.

Of note: While there is no label on this round, Short confirmed the fresh funding was a up-round for the company.

  • "We are profitable on a unit basis and we could be profitable overall if we allocated money differently, but we will be in growth mode for a long time," he says.

What they're saying: "Five years ago less than 5% of the market" comprised precision medicine," says Carina Namih, partner at Plural.

  • Carina believes that by the end of the decade, more than 80% of trials will use genetic testing or other biomarkers.
  • "Sano is the only end to end software platform that enables pharmaceuticals to run this trial with a precision element," she says.

1 fun thing: The word Sano in Latin means healthy.

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