Genomic data is considered to be the key to unlocking so-called “precision medicine”. Some estimates suggest that by 2025, 500 million human genomes will have been sequenced, but only a fraction of it is being utilized for drug discovery and precision medicine.
One of the key startups to emerge in the space is Lifebit, which allows wider access to global biomedical data for drug discovery. It’s now raised a $60 million funding round led by Tiger Global Management. Existing investors Eurazeo, Pentech Ventures and Beacon Capital also participated.
Lifebit says it has a patented technology for federating the data around genomic data, allowing researchers to get more insights while keeping the data secure. Privacy issues are regularly raised around genomic data. Let’s face it, it doesn’t get more personal than your genome.
The company says that rare disease patients are likely to receive an accurate diagnosis up to five times more often when human genetic data is involved in the diagnosis. That’s why these “Clinico-genomic” databases can be so transformative.
Lifebit has acquired clients across the public and private sectors, including the Hong Kong Genome Project, and an AI-partnership with German pharma giant Boehringer Ingelheim. It also won the U.K. government contract to power Genomics England.
Dr. Maria Chatzou Dunford, Lifebit CEO and former bioinformatics researcher said: “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.”
Partner at Tiger Global, John Curtius, added: “We are confident that Lifebit’s innovative and industry-leading software solutions, paired with their customer-first approach, will drive rapid global adoption and accelerate breakthroughs in precision medicine.”
Lifebit competes with DNAnexus, Seven Bridges and Iqvia.