Cambridge startup Sano Genetics (formerly Heterogeneous) aims to enable large-scale genetic and medical research without sacrificing data privacy – by putting the patient in the driving seat.
The Sano Genetics platform is powering research into many common disorders such as eczema, diabetes and depression, as well as rare diseases like muscular dystrophy. Its people-centric approach has attracted more than 1,500 participants in its first year and participants have contributed tens of thousands of pieces of data.
Sano aims to enrol more than 10,000 people and support half a dozen new research projects by the end of this 2019.
The company has raised has raised £500k seed funding from Seedcamp, Cambridge Enterprise, the family office of Paul Forster, Will Neale, Jon Folland, Gordon Ashworth, Ramesh Haridas and Daniel Murrell, along with grant funding from the University of Cambridge, the Wellcome Genome Campus BioData Innovation Centre and the Y Combinator Startup School.
Sano has created what it describes as a ‘transparent’ platform which allows individuals to opt in or out of different studies and share as much or as little information as they wish.
The company also works to match people with a research project that can fund the cost of DNA sequencing. Participants are given access to free personalised reports written by research scientists, based on their genetic data.
Sano CEO Patrick Short says: “We want to build the platform that will make personalised medicine a reality.”