Lifebit Biotech, a London-based big data processor for medical research, has raised $7.5 million (£6 million) in Series A funding to fuel ongoing product development and international expansion. The round was led by Idinvest Partners, with participation from previous investors Pentech Ventures, Beacon Capital and Connect Ventures.
In a press release, the company cited that over 500 million human genomes will be sequenced by 2025, creating more data than YouTube and Twitter combined. Lifebit is on a mission to democratise this genomic data to aid research discoveries in drugs and personalised medicine.
The startup’s core product, Lifebit CloudOS, is a bioinformatics platform that enables researchers to visualise and analyse massive amounts of data. The software provides integrations to all open-source tools, plus a marketplace of proprietary ones, a powerful data and cohort browser, and “advanced AI functionality”.
The result is a “radically new approach to bioinformatics,” according to Antoine Zins of Idinvest. For example, biobanks such as the UK’s Biobank amass tons of genomic and clinical data from hundreds of thousands of volunteer participants. This data is technically made available to the public, but in such a format that is hard to access, let alone mine or utilise. By integrating the UK’s Biobank data, Lifebit’s enterprise clients, which include pharmaceutical companies and research institutes, can easily incorporate biobank data into their research.
Founded three years ago, the biotech startup now has employees, partners and customers spanning 15 countries. “With our partners and customers, we are pushing forward the frontiers of health and creating a more integrated, accessible landscape of knowledge that enriches life and enables meaningful breakthroughs,” says Dr. Maria Chatzou Dunford, the company’s CEO.
The Series A funding will push the business’ frontiers, too, helping commercialise the product across borders and expand into new international markets.
Photo: Lifebit Biotech CEO, Dr. Maria Chatzou Dunford