Another sizeable cash injection for big data biotech: Sophia Genetics has announced a $77 million Series E funding round, bringing its total raised to $140 million since the business was founded back in 2011.
The company, which applies AI to DNA sequencing to enable what it dubs “data-driven medicine,” last closed a $30 million Series D in fall 2017.
The Series E was led by Generation Investment Management. Also investing: European private equity firm, Idinvest Partners. Existing investors, including Balderton Capital and Alychlo, also participated in the round.
When we last spoke to Sophia Genetics it had around 350 hospitals linked via its SaaS platform, and was then adding around 10 new hospitals per month.
Now it says its Sophia AI platform is being used by more than 850 hospitals across 77 countries, and it claims to have supported the diagnosis of more than 300,000 patients.
The basic idea is to improve diagnoses by enabling closer collaboration and knowledge sharing between hospitals via the Sophia AI platform, with an initial focus on oncology, hereditary cancer, metabolic disorders, pediatrics and cardiology.
Expert (human) insights across the network of hospital users are used to collectively enhance genomic diagnostics and push toward predictive analysis by feeding and training AI algorithms intended to enhance the reading and analysis of DNA sequencing data.
Sophia Genetics describes its approach as the “democratization” of DNA sequencing expertise.
Commenting on the Series E in a statement, Lilly Wollman, co-head of Generation’s growth equity team said: “We believe that leveraging genetic sequencing and advanced digital analysis will enable a more sustainable healthcare system. Sophia Genetics is a leader in the preventive and personalized medicine revolution, enabling the development of targeted therapeutics, thereby vastly improving health outcomes. We admire Sophia Genetics not just for its differentiated analytics capability across genomic and radiomic data, but also for its exceptional team and culture.”
The new funding will be put toward further expanding the number of hospitals using Sophia Genetics’ technology, and also on growing its headcount with a plan to ramp up hiring in the U.S. especially.
The Swiss-founded firm is now co-based in Lausanne and Boston, Mass.
In another recent development, the company added radiomics capabilities to its platform last year, allowing for what it describes as “a prediction of the evolution of a tumour,” which it suggests can help inform a physician’s choice of treatment for the patient.