Oxford and Portugal-based iLoF has secured $5m in funding to support the democratisation of personalised medicine for millions of people living with complex diseases. Currently, iLoF’s intelligent platform is collecting massive amounts of data to build a library of biological profiles, bringing together world-class physicists, biologists, and data scientists to get life-saving personalised treatments to patients faster.
The new funding round is comprised of $4.1m in equity investment led by Faber, alongside US-based M12, Microsoft’s venture fund and Quiet Capital, and EU-based Lunar Ventures, Alter Venture Partners, re.Mind Capital and Fluxunit, the corporate VC arm of ams OSRAM. Angel investor Charlie Songhurst, former GM at Microsoft, and Berggruen Holdings, the family office of Nicolas Berggruen, a serial investor and philanthropist, also participated.
iLoF also secured a $900k grant from ERDF to accelerate and clinically validate its mission of cutting the time and cost of recruiting patients for clinical trials. Helping to remove the barriers to the development of personalized, effective, and life-saving therapeutics. The company has raised over $8M in funding to date.
Luis Valente, Co-Founder and CEO of iLoF, said, “For hundreds of years, treatments have been developed with the assumption they will work for everyone. However, each person is different, and for many severe diseases such as Alzheimer’s, multiple factors can contribute to the effectiveness of a treatment on a given patient.
Valente continued, “This means millions of patients currently live without access to an effective, disease-modifying treatment – which sparked the vision behind iLoF. We collect vast amounts of data to create digital twins of biological profiles and disease subtypes, which we store in our digital library. Different patient profiles can be selected and screened using our platform to speed up the development of effective and personalized treatments while enabling humane, patient-centric clinical trials.”
Sofia Santos, Partner at Faber, added, “iLoF has the potential to positively impact millions of patients around the globe and become an integral part of the $500B global personalized medicine market. Its unique combination of photonics and artificial intelligence can both directly impact the fast-growing AI in Drug Discovery Market and transform the diagnosis, staging, and triage of a myriad of diseases, progressively moving healthcare from a central hospital based-approach into a low-cost, distributed, patient-driven approach.”
iLoF’s platform amasses a wide range of optical signals, creating rich signatures of the ensemble of particles on biological samples, which are then converted into bio-digital twins. These bio-digital twins overcome the traditional limits of biochemical analysis, in which they can be re-analyzed a potentially infinite number of times. This supercharges the search for emergent features and patterns that could be the key to developing various novel therapeutics.
Mehak Mumtaz, Co-Founder and COO of iLoF added, “Our ultimate vision is to go from a next-generation bioinformatics platform to a breakthrough disease screening one. Moving from supporting researchers and scientists to directly helping patients around the world will vastly deepen our understanding of diseases and help physicians detect the world’s more severe and impactful diseases, such as Ovarian Cancer or Alzheimer’s Disease.”
During the pandemic, iLoF worked with St. John’s Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine in Porto to understand how the platform could help manage the influx of COVID-19 patients and optimize resources. iLoF was shown to be able to accurately distinguish COVID-19 patients based on their likelihood of ICU admission, which could allow hospitals to manage critical resources more effectively.
“In the midst of the accelerated pace of change brought on by the global pandemic, the need for personalized medicine solutions that serve each patient’s individual needs has never been more pressing,” said Priyanka Mitra, investor at M12, Microsoft’s venture fund. “iLoF’s cloud-based library of optical fingerprints is world-class technology built by an outstanding team that will help us usher in this new era of personalized patient care and healthcare delivery.”
This seed funding will be used to accelerate ongoing engagements with leading global corporations in the Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Clinical space, with the aim of fast-tracking current and future pilots, enabling the further development of the iLoF Platform.
Speaking on the investment in iLoF, Elad Verbin, Partner at Lunar Ventures, commented, “iLoF embodies the power of artificial intelligence to revolutionise healthcare as we know it. We are incredibly excited to back iLoF’s team of biologists, laser physicists and data scientists as they teach a computer how human blood looks at the nano-scale when affected by cancer or Alzheimer’s. Humanity urgently needs access to cheap, painless point-of-care diagnostics, and optical technology and machine learning are finally advanced and strong enough to provide this. iLoF is a frontrunner in leveraging these new optics and machine learning capabilities, providing an accurate early screening platform that improves the lives of tens of millions.”
iLoF is led by CEO Luis Valente, a serial entrepreneur and Forbes 30 under 30 for Science and Healthcare; COO Mehak Mumtaz, an Oxford University fellow and Biochemist PhD turned strategy and personalized medicine expert; and CSO Paula Sampaio, a renowned senior scientist and coordinator of a national bioimaging facility.
Initially formed while participating in EIT Health’s Wild Card programme and accelerated at the Oxford Foundry, the iLoF team consists of 20 international scientists, entrepreneurs, and inventors.
Before 2023 iLoF will be hiring 20 people internationally across physics, data science, biology, and product management profiles. Most recently, the company hired Alex Turpin as Head of BioSignal and Analytics, an experienced physicist who spent the last decade leading projects at the interface of AI, Data Science, and Photonics in world-class institutions around Europe.