A healthcare startup has raised $30 million for its 'Sophia' AI

Sophia Genetics cofounder and CEO JurgiSophia GeneticsSophia Genetic cofounder and CEO Jurgi Camblong.

Sophia Genetics, a healthcare startup backed by Autonomy billionaire Mike Lynch, has raised $US30 million (£23 million) for its medical software platform. The funding round brings total investment in the startup up to around $US60 million (£45 million).

The funding round was led by London-headquartered venture capital firm Balderton Capital, while Invoke Capital (Mike Lynch’s startup investment company), and Belgian pharmaceutical entrepreneur Mark Coucke also participated.

Founded in 2011, Sophia Genetics has built a software platform that can help to diagnose patients by analysing genetic data. The company employs 150 people.

Sophia Genetics cofounder and CEO Jurgi Camblong told Business Insider that the funding will be used to hire more staff and further develop the company’s software, which costs hospitals between $US50 (£38) and $US150 (£113) per patient.

The company said its software — underpinned by an artificial intelligence called “Sophia” — is being used by 330 hospitals in 53 countries to diagnose some 8,000 patients per month. Sophia becomes more intelligent every time it analyses a genomic profile, the company claimed.

James Wise, a partner at Balderton, said in a statement that Sophia Genetics is at the forefront of two rapidly emerging medicines: genomic medicine and artificial intelligence.

“Giving every healthcare professional a standardised, straightforward, and fast way to analyse these complex data sets is an essential step to unlock the potential of data-driven medicine.

“As diagnostic kits and sequencers become cheaper and more powerful, we believe that there is an opportunity to build the defining software layer on top of these technologies in genomics, just as Windows did for PCs and Android has for smartphones, and Sophia is already leading in this field.”

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