3 Feb, 2021

Sano Genetics partners with BenevolentAI & C4X Discovery to power precision medicine in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A new collaboration between Sano Genetics and industry partners aims to accelerate drug and biomarker discovery in ulcerative colitis (UC), a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

About : 

  • Sano Genetics, a genetic research platform, is partnering with BenevolentAI, C4X Discovery, and Patients Know Best to apply a patient-centric approach to ulcerative colitis research.

  • The project, enabled by a £330k grant from Innovate UK, aims to accelerate precision medicine research in ulcerative colitis by creating a unique resource combining genetic and transcriptomic data alongside electronic medical records and patient-reported data.

  • The new data resource will power research into game-changing precision medicine treatments for UC patients.

Cambridge, UK - February 3, 2021 - Sano Genetics is collaborating with industry-leaders BenevolentAI, C4X Discovery, and Patients Know Best to apply a patient-centric approach to ulcerative colitis (UC), one of the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. 


The project, funded in part by a £330k grant from the UK Government’s innovation agency Innovate UK, aims to accelerate the development of precision medicine and biomarker discovery, with a particular focus on ulcerative colitis. 


“More than six million cases of IBD were recorded world-wide in 2017 and UC specifically is estimated to affect approximately one in every 330 people,” said Patrick Short, CEO of Sano Genetics. “As the prevalence of IBD continues to increase, personalised approaches to early detection, treatment, and management are becoming ever more important. We are delighted to be pooling our knowledge with BenevolentAI and C4X Discovery to accelerate drug and biomarker discoveries which have the potential to change the lives of UC patients.” 

Advancing patient-centric research 

Joining forces to create a unique database which combines genetic and transcriptomic data, electronic medical records and questionnaire data, the collaboration will develop a rich new dataset with the potential to unlock previously unidentified insights into UC. 

"We are very excited to be working as a commercial partner on this collaboration with Sano Genetics,” said Mark Davies, Senior Vice President of Informatics and Data at BenevolentAI. “This unique project will not only allow us to advance our precision medicine approaches, but the new database will provide a game-changing resource for the development of new treatments for ulcerative colitis. We believe that working on this project with the Sano team will help us realise our goal of providing better outcomes for patients, sooner.” 

Taking a patient-focused approach, the project will enable participants to access their genomic data through the Sano platform, have full control over how their data is used, and receive updates and information on future research opportunities. 

This approach will help create a blueprint for a new paradigm in research, one where patients are placed at the heart of the process. Patient-centric and digital research enables ‘real world’ data to be collected and creates an enhanced dialogue between patients and researchers, resulting in productive long-term relationships. 

Craig Fox, Chief Scientific Officer, C4X Discovery, added: “Identifying the right drug target for the right patient is a major but challenging goal for drug discovery, particularly for diseases with significant pathophysiological heterogeneity such as ulcerative colitis. 

“Our proprietary Taxonomy3 platform will analyse the datasets produced from this research to identify novel drug targets and patient subtypes of UC which may provide a powerful insight into discovering new treatments and enrichment strategies for clinical success.” 

What next? 

By providing an example of how patient-centric research can accelerate meaningful results, it is hoped this project will drive patient-focused research adoption in other disease areas, resulting in faster and more cost-effective development of life-changing precision medicines. 

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