The raise was led by Plural with participation from existing investors including MMC Ventures, Episode 1, and Seedcamp.
The announcement was made by the company founded by CEO Patrick Short and Charlotte Guzzo, COO, yesterday (January 22).
Charlotte Barttelot, Principal at MMC Ventures, said: “We are excited to back Sano Genetics again after leading its Series A. We continue to see the pull from biopharma for a market-leading infrastructure software to underpin their precision medicine trials which has been evidenced by the strong growth in 2023. We are excited to see this accelerate into 2024.”
The company combines genetic testing, recruitment, and long-term engagement in one platform, accelerating enrollment and simplifying operations for precision medicine teams driving breakthroughs for patients.
In 2023, Sano Genetics says it experienced 5x 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.
The company said it is seeing early gains from deploying AI to streamline the trial process which it says is ‘delighting’ its customers. The new funding, which brings the total raised to $22 million, will be used to meet the growing demand for its products, leverage AI further, expand its reach to more countries, and reach the company’s goal of becoming the ultimate precision trial platform.
Solving bottlenecks in precision medicine R&D
Companies have often found clinical research to be an incredibly complex and time-consuming process for both patients and the pharmaceutical companies and emerging biotech startups running the trials.
Access and referrals for patients to join trials often depend on the hospital or location where they’re receiving treatment - which is why recruiting for clinical trials is one of the biggest challenges in research.
The British Research Panel reports 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.
The companies working in this field know that precision medicine requires understanding the genetics of patients and tailoring drugs to suit them and it can be even more difficult for researchers to find the right patients for a trial.
Connecting patients across four countries, the UK, US, Australia, and Canada, with pharma and biotech companies that are conducting clinical trials, the company says its goal is to make it easier for patients to access precision medical treatment hopefully allowing companies to bring effective new drugs to market quickly.
Once patients are recruited, customers use Sano’s platform to manage all aspects of the trial including participant communication, facilitating genetic and other biomarker testing, returning results and even supporting patients with genetic counselling. This is all enabled through the platform’s consumer-grade interface, which prioritises security and compliance throughout.
Precision medicine for rare and ultra-rare diseases
The platform has supported close to 20+ different studies, from rare and ultra-rare diseases affecting newborn babies, all the way to neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) - a form of motor neurone disease (MND) - and Parkinson’s.
Patrick Short, co-founder and CEO of Sano Genetics, 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 program 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.”
Carina Namih is a partner at Plural and said that precision medicine is going to transform how healthcare is delivered but added that it needs seamless software tools like Sano Genetics’ to accelerate its impact.
She said: “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. Patrick and the Sano team have made huge strides in 2023, and I am delighted to be able to continue to support the company to bring faster, more effective clinical trials.”