iLoF (Intelligent Lab on Fiber) aims to solve challenges currently facing clinical trials and drug development.
A biotech startup, co-founded by Oxford alumna Mehak Mumtaz and supported by the Oxford Foundry, has been awarded $1million in funding after winning the second Microsoft Female Founder’s competition.
iLoF aims to solve challenges currently facing clinical trials and drug development by using AI and photonics to build a cloud-based library of disease biomarkers, which could be used to drastically reduce the cost and time of drug discovery.
'High-costs of drug discovery, a years- to decades- long process, combined with insufficient knowledge about underlying disease mechanisms and heterogeneity in biological profiles has resulted in multiple bottlenecks in the drug development process, making it hard to bring treatments to market, particularly for more complex diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease' explains Co-founder, COO and Oxford alumna Mehak.
'Our patented technology platform will make it cheaper and more efficient to recruit patients for trials and could also lead to more portable and easily accessible screening tools.'
'We have selected Alzheimer’s as our initial focus as it unfortunately has the highest risk of clinical trial failure due to both the complexity and heterogeneity of the disease and the invasive procedures trials involve.'
Microsoft’s Female Founders Competition is a global contest that identifies and funds top women entrepreneurs who are leading enterprise tech startups. Their investment is the second round of funding for iLoF in the last 12 months, after securing €2million last year from Germany-based EIT Health.
Mehak, and her fellow iLoF Co-founders - Luís Valente (CEO), Joana Paiva (CTO) and Paula Sampaio (CSO) – have also been named in CB Insights Top 150 digital-health companies and were awarded a place on the Oxford Foundry’s L.E.V8 Accelerator programme in October 2019.