Investment by group of business angels led by Rustam Gilfanov will speed up the digitisation of biomedical research.
Latvia-based Longenesis, a company founded by LongeVC and Insilico Medicine, among others, has announced its late seed round backed by a group of business angels led by Rustam Gilfanov, for a total of $1.2 million. The round was also joined by Ilya Suharenko, a private investor and one of the Managing Partners of LongeVC, bringing in 17 years of experience in traditional banking.
Longevity.Technology: Longenesis is developing tools to speed up the digitisation of biomedical research. Its main objective is to increase patients’ engagement and trust with research organisations and study sponsors, as well as enable clinical sites and patient advocacy groups to compliantly expose their patients and data reach for biomedical research.
Medical data is sensitive and confidential, which has created obstacles for researchers needing large and detailed datasets. By introducing digitalisation and consent-enabled showcasing of biomedical assets, as well as putting the emphasis on patient-centricity, Longenesis will help to reduce recruitment costs and accelerate biomedical research – great news for Longevity.
The funds raised will allow Longenesis to expand in its key markets and scale the deployment of its core products. Longenesis services are centred around three different products:
Curator allows research organisations like hospitals or biobanks to publish anonymised patient datasets and receive collaboration requests from interested third parties.
As the data does not contain any identifiable information, patient confidentiality is guaranteed. But the data-enhanced presentation and accessibility allow third parties to easily judge if the data could be relevant to their research projects, speeding up what was until now a difficult, slow, costly and tedious process. This opens up the research potential of personalised data while maintaining the privacy and following regional regulatory specifics. The data can also be used for advanced analyses by researchers from universities, government agencies or AI companies.
Themis provides an API-based consent management tool for onboarding patients in medical studies and clinical trials. This enables ultimate patient-centricity and empowers patients to take a proactive role in research studies and understand better their contribution to it.
“Flexible digital consent allows study participants to control their involvement in the study by calmly going through the informed consent document, and to sign or revoke it at any time. This opportunity increases people’s trust in researchers and science as such,” says Lilian Tzivian, PhD, a leading epidemiologist at the University of Latvia.
Engage makes onboarding new patients is made easier with a single click to the research organisation link.
Engage also allows the handling of patient contact information for follow-up questions and manages their consent throughout their engagement in the research projects. It also incorporates exporting and monitoring tools that allow analysis throughout the medical study.
Longenesis has already deployed its solutions with several governments, biopharmaceutical companies and academic consortia, providing data curation and patient interaction services in the EU, the Middle East and Asia.
The company also recently announced a partnership with Medtronic. Medtronic is a $167 billion company manufacturing medical devices. The Medtronic-Longenesis partnership, also involving diabetic patient organisations, will be a pilot on the digitalisation of patient engagement into research and advocacy initiatives.
“Advocacy is an integral part of the patient organization’s work, however, up until now it has also been a huge struggle,” says Indra Stelmane, PhD, endocrinologist and president of Latvian Diabetes Federation. “To ensure that patient needs and wishes are taken seriously, and their best interests are put first, we need to engage them in an ongoing dialogue.
Many factors hinder this process, a few of which are their varying capabilities as well as distrust that comes with any chronic condition. For this reason, we are excited to partner up with Longenesis. We believe that their patient engagement and data curation solutions will give us the necessary access not only to diabetic patients but also to research partners that might benefit their needs. We hope that the ongoing project is just the start.”
A driving force behind Longenesis is LongeVC, which is a service and investment fund to support biotech start-ups with a focus on industrial development, fundraising and start-up development.
The main focus of LongeVC is selecting companies in ground-breaking technological areas of the longevity industry. Garri Zmudze, Managing Partner of LongeVC, notes: “Compliant access to clinical data and patient cohorts will remain the fundamental success factor for any biotech or longevity-focused venture. We believe that Longenesis has all it takes to become a backbone of compliant biomedical data utilisation in the coming years.”
Rustam Gilfanov, a business angel and a venture partner of the LongeVC investment fund, who led the investment round, commented on the role of digitalization in biotechnology and medical research: “Biotechnology is developing rapidly today, moving towards digitalizing and once fully human-dependent and overly manual processes.
“Recent successes in AI-driven drug discovery serve as a great example of this with many more to come. Digitalisation, transparency, and compliance in biomedical data asset access is key for such innovations to be repeatable and scalable. The fund strives to develop such start-ups. This is our future.”