Precision medicine software firm Lifebit Biotech has completed a £44m fundraise as it bids to unlock the full power of biomedical data.
The London-headquartered firm has completed a series B raise which will it believes will help it to drive improvements in drug discovery and precision medicine by tapping into the full potential of biomedical data.
The volume of available biomedical data has surged in recent years, with estimates suggesting that by 2025, 500 million human genomes will have been sequenced, amassing more data than YouTube and Twitter combined.
Only a fraction of it is being utilised for drug discovery and precision medicine, however.
This is because the data needed for such vital work is often inaccessible and unusable.
Barriers inclide governance, regulations, privacy and security concerns and inadequate technology.
The World Economic Forum states that 97 per cent of all data produced by hospitals each year goes untouched.
Unlocking access to this data has the power and potential to rid society of its most devastating diseases.
It has already been proven to help healthcare providers give faster diagnosis and more targeted treatments with studies showing 4-5x more rare disease patients receive an accurate diagnosis when human genetic data is involved.
Furthermore, research has found that when developing novel drug compounds, those with human genetic data evidence are twice as likely to become clinically approved drugs.
These advances are set to be even more impactful as the amount of, and demand for, biomedical data grows.
Lifebit’s federated approach
Lifebit aims to solve this problem; by makes vital biomedical data findable and secure.
Instead of moving data around, Lifebit builds enterprise data platforms for use, in-house, by organisations with complex and sensitive biomedical datasets.
It brings the researchers’ analysis and computation to where the data resides, thus removing the inherent risks involved with moving data between systems, and the data is then governed by each individual organisation’s existing, high-level security, anonymity and regulatory protocols.
Through Lifebit’s suite of AI-powered, end-to-end software solutions, these platforms are also able to provide faster data insights, accelerate drug discovery pipelines, and improve clinical trials success.
Lifebit recently secured a contract to support the implementation of Hong Kong’s first population-scale genome sequencing initiative, the Hong Kong Genome Project.
It also has a long-term AI-partnership with German pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim.
Lifebit also won the UK Government contract to power Genomics England with its 135,000-strong cohort of cancer, rare disease and COVID-19 patient data – a project largely considered to be the global pioneer in population genomics.
Dr. Maria Chatzou Dunford, Lifebit CEO and former bioinformatics researcher, says: “We believe all biomedical data that can be used to save lives, should be used. People are dying because of how this data is being handled, and making distributed highly-sensitive biomedical data usable while keeping it secure in-place and combining it with other data has never been possible. Until now.
“It’s great to see how excited our investors are to support our mission and our first-of-its-kind transformative technology. With this new strategic backing, we will continue to expand our global presence, with a specific focus on customer success and accelerating the growth of our team.”
Parker Moss, CCO at Genomics England, said of the technology: “A challenge facing the precision medicine field lies in data governance. With strict national regulatory frameworks, there’s a real pressing need to leave data at rest, but to analyse it alongside international datasets and integrate it through federated links.
“Lifebit’s technology addresses this issue – keeping patients’ data secure and privacy protected in our dataset, while enabling researchers from academia and pharma to analyse this data collaboratively in conjunction with their other complementary datasets. That’s a very powerful value proposition.”
The firm’s Series B funding round was led by Tiger Global. Existing investors Eurazeo, Pentech Ventures, and Beacon Capital also participated.
The funds will help to further Lifebit’s global expansion, with a focus on customer success and accelerating the growth of its team.