Oxford-based iLoF secures funding from M12 – Microsoft’s venture fund and Mayfield to use A.I. to create a digital library of disease biomarkers – and help find Alzheimer’s cure.
With a patented cloud-based library of ‘disease fingerprints’, the company is improving screening processes, speeding up drug discovery for complex
diseases like Alzheimer’s, and shining a light on COVID-19 infection.
[Oxford, UK] Award-winning start-up iLoF (Intelligent Lab on Fiber) is transforming personalised medicine using a biophotonics and Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) platform, that may also help to forecast the evolution of COVID-19 infection.
iLoF’s disruptive platform technology, which detects nanoscale biomolecules in blood creating accurate optical ‘fingerprints’ of a patient’s phenotype and stage of disease, just secured USD 1 M from Microsoft’s M12 and Mayfield.
Scouted from female-led companies from all over the globe, iLoF was the Global Deep Tech winner of M12, Mayfield and Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures’ Female Founders Competition, and has thus secured an important investment in their mission to enable a new era of personalized medicine. Tamara Steffens, Managing Director at M12, said:
“We are so excited to name iLoF a winner of the Female Founders Competition and invest $1 million alongside Mayfield. iLoF’s technology promises to create effective treatments tailored for the individual, which will change healthcare trajectories for millions of people living with complex disorders. Their mission is humbling, and we are thrilled to support this company with our investment and as a board observer.”
Currently engaged with leading Biotechs, Pharmas and Hospitals, the company is capturing both individual nano-sized biomarkers and biological profiles of patients correlated with various heterogeneous diseases in their cloud-based library.
The agnostic, label-free nature of the platform allows greater flexibility in clinical trial design. By conveniently identifying suitable patients for clinical trials and fast-tracking the drug discovery process for currently incurable complex and heterogenous diseases, iLoF is opening the doors to new possibilities in personalised medicine – including Alzheimer’s.
So far, the search for a disease-modifying therapy to treat Alzheimer’s remains elusive. In the past two decades, more than 400 clinical trials have failed, many due to difficulties related with invasive screening methods, challenges identifying suitable patients, and a need for tailored treatments for each biological profile.
iLoF’s patented non-invasive platform aims to tackle these pains while offering pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies a significant cut on the cost and time of trials.
Derek Hill, former director of IXICO, CEO of Panoramic Health and advisor to iLoF, said:
“With an ambitious, talented team, iLoF is already gaining significant interest from leading Pharmas and is quickly expanding its global reach. Their versatile platform technology provides clear opportunities to impact both industry and patients around their initial Alzheimer’s focus, as well as in many other disease areas”
In fact, just last year iLoF published the use of the disruptive platform to detect and identify different types of gastric cancer cells in patients, aiming to enable a ‘stratification’ process which helps doctors to determine the most appropriate treatments.
Recently, the start-up also responded to the challenge of their clinical partners and is adapting the platform to forecast the clinical evolution of COVID-19 infected patients while in Hospital-care. Luis Valente, CEO at iLoF said:
“We are on a mission to enable a new era of personalized medicine, by helping the industry develop, choose and democratize personalised treatments for patients all around the world.
Our focus is to provide non-invasive tools that make the drug development experience more humane and convenient for the patients, while drastically making the whole process more efficient and flexible for the industry”
With aspirations far beyond Alzheimer’s, this investment is the second round of funding for iLoF in the last 12 months, after securing € 2M later last year from Germany-based EIT Health. With incredible traction over the past months, multiple clinical partners, numerous awards, and backing from investors like M12 and Mayfield Fund, iLoF is definitely one to watch.
ILoF is a disruptive technological start-up comprising a team of scientists, entrepreneurs and inventors, providing screening and stratification tools in an affordable, non-invasive, label-free way. Based at Oxford, UK, with their engineering centre in Porto, Portugal, the team is working with world-class hospitals, biotechs and pharmaceutical groups to bring their innovative technology to the market. ILoF is being accelerated by the Oxford Foundry.
ILoF was a winner of the 2020 Female Founders Competition – a partnership between M12, Mayfield and Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures investing $6m in four enterprise software and deeptech companies. Just this year, co-founders Joana Paiva and Luis Valente have entered Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 Europe list in the Science and Healthcare category.
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