Lifebit: Building the leading company of personalized medicine
By Endeavor Greece Dec 27, 2021
Faster detection of diseases and faster development of drugs is the mission of Lifebit, which with its unique technology collects and analyzes clinical data of patients and has a presence on three continents. Speaking to Outliers, Endeavor Greece podcast, with media partner MoneyReview, Maria Chatzou Dunford, co-founder and CEO of Lifebit, explains, among other things, that the company is a leading force in the field of personalized medicine.
In particular, she analyzes, in recent years there have been two world-historical events, which have drastically changed the way we diagnose and treat diseases. First, we now know what questions need to be answered in order to find a cure. Secondly, we have all the data at our disposal to answer these questions.
The way Lifebit contributes to this process is to gather the necessary data and make it easily accessible so that they can be used in combination.
Lifebit’s operation, as Maria Chatzou Dunford explains, consists of three large and distinct parts: 1. It collects data on its platform and analyzes patient samples in the laboratory. 2. Converts the data to the appropriate format so that it can be used for research. 3. Presents the findings in a way that is understandable to the user using – among other things – artificial intelligence tools.
Lifebit currently has data from at least half a million patients, and that number is expected to rise to at least five million in the coming years. Its clients include governments, which on the one hand want the widespread adoption of personalized medicine, on the other hand invest in the field of biotechnology and biomedicine.
As Maria Chatzou Dunford points out to Outliers, investments in this area are made specially to reduce the cost of diagnosing and treating patients. The cost is reduced because the diagnosis time is reduced by 60%. But other than that, with biotechnology and biomedicine, the health system goes from empirical to preventive, because it is now based on data and not just on symptoms, which can occur at a later stage of disease.
Lifebit’s journey to the top typically began in the spring of 2017 in London, when Maria Chatzou Dunford and her partner joined the Techstars accelerator, where their three-month training gave them the impetus and confirmation that their idea and their strategic plan can bear fruit.
Within two years, industry and the market had changed radically, with millions of clinical patient data being collected. However, during these years, Lifebit moved quickly, closing with their trial product with various pharmaceuticals.
The second round of financing, which was earlier than expected and with doubts from the company’s board of directors, moved with the same speed, but managed to attract a large investment interest and in particular an investment of 60 million dollars from Tiger Global.
The proceeds will be used for the expansion of the company and for its overgrowth. Among Lifebit’s plans is to expand its team to Greece, where Maria Chatzou Dunford already has a good image of the market, as well as maintaining the non-profit organization Innovation Forum, which connects the scientific community with business, including locating and highlighting researchers who have great prospects.
The secret to success
Maria Chatzou Dunford emphasizes that as a businessman you are already an Outlier, because you have taken many risks that others have not taken and you have a different way of thinking. But what makes the difference is finding the right opportunities and making the most of them.