A precision medicine software company democratising access to biomedical data for governments, healthcare providers and research teams worldwide has raised £44 million.
The funding into London-headquartered Lifebit Biotech was led by global technology investment firm Tiger Global Management. Existing investors Eurazeo, Pentech Ventures and Beacon Capital also participated.
Despite the rapid growth of biomedical data in recent years – estimates suggest 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.
This is because the data needed for such vital work is often inaccessible and unusable – down to either governance, regulations, privacy and security concerns, or inadequate technology.
The World Economic Forum states that 97% 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 says its technology solves this problem by not only making vital biomedical data findable and usable, but actionable and highly secure. Instead of moving data around, Lifebit builds enterprise data platforms for use, in-house, by organisations with complex and sensitive biomedical datasets.
Its suite of AI-powered software solutions provide faster data insights, accelerate drug discovery pipelines and improve clinical trials success.
Its clients across the public and private sectors include a recent contract to support the implementation of Hong Kong’s first population-scale genome sequencing initiative, the Hong Kong Genome Project, as well as 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.
“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,” said Dr. Maria Chatzou Dunford, Lifebit CEO and former bioinformatics researcher.
“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.”
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.”
Parker Moss, CCO at Genomics England, said “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.”