News Title

SOPHiA GENETICS combines deep expertise in life sciences and medical disciplines with mathematical capabilities in data computing. The company’s mission is to support healthcare professionals by bringing data analytics to the market. It achieves its mission through the global adoption of SOPHiA artificial intelligence.

SOPHiA is developed on the basis of techniques such as statistical inference, pattern recognition, and machine learning. This allows SOPHiA to provide equal benefits to all users, unite experts in a gold-standard health-tech platform, and foster expert knowledge sharing for a sustainable impact on future patients.

What Problem Does SOPHiA GENETICS Solve?

“When we founded SOPHiA GENETICS, we envisioned a world where – by breaking data siloes across healthcare institutions – one would enable the others to go further. This is the basic principle of collective intelligence: by sharing experience and knowledge, you can create something that is much more valuable,” shares Jurgi Camblong, CEO of SOPHiA GENETICS.

When the team started deploying their SaaS platform in 2014, they were able to help healthcare institutions obtain better results and see what they would not be able to see by themselves and thus better diagnose patients. For example, in breast cancer hereditary conditions, healthcare institutions wouldn’t have the ability to detect all types of genetic variants as they were using NGS technologies.

“With our AI-capabilities, we would enable them to detect the so-called Copy Number Variations (CNV) that can be at the origin of breast cancer. Over the years, the capabilities of our Platform have continuously scaled,” proudly shares Mr. Camblong.

For example, last year, SOPHiA helped to characterise the molecular events driving the cancer of over 35,000 patients suffering from leukemia. This is extremely important because it enables the doctors to anticipate how the cancer of a given patient might evolve and what might be the best treatment for their cancer.

Right now, the team is working on predictive models to help Oncologists have the perspective of a patient’s cancer versus the one of thousands of other similar cancers that are recorded as the SOPHiA GENETICS Platform is being used. Jurgi Camblong and his team hope that one day they will be able to empower healthcare institutions to be in a real-time epidemiology world, where the data of one patient benefits others.

Entrepreneurial Journey

“Back in 2012, as we were in the EPFL campus, I recruited our CTO, CIO, and the VP of Sales and Marketing. Those 3 recruitments have been among the most important decisions I had to take at SOPHiA GENETICS,” says Mr. Camblong.

Since then, they’ve been building the SOPHiA DDM Platform on the basis of fast feedback-loops with some prospects to finally deliver the first version of the Platform to the market in 2014. At the time, they were about 20 people. That’s also when they decided to accelerate the pace, raise a decent amount of capital, and build a sales team. Focusing exclusively on Europe till 2017, SOPHiA managed to dominate the space before deploying its capabilities to other continents.

Biggest Achievements

Today, the team is over 400 people, and it will be over 550 by the end of 2021. This is a testimonial of the trust they have in their model and capacities.

In less than a decade, the team has been able to reach 1,000 health institutions in 85 countries across all continents, and to support more than 20,000 patients per month on their platform.

To go beyond that, “we need to continue what we’ve been good at over the last 10 years: work hard, work as a team, make decisions, be inspired and follow our passion and mission on the need to democratise Data-Driven Medicine,” shares Jurgi Clamborg.

Future Impact of SOPHiA GENETICS

“I think that one day, we will be able to control diseases such as cancer and inherited disorders. We’re convinced that this will require a tech platform serving the largest network. So, anything we are doing really intends to become this platform – not only to support patients today but also to further leverage on this position and create a continuously growing and improving collective intelligence, with the aim to better serve patients tomorrow,” says Mr. Clamborg

This also means that one day, eventually, clinical trials won’t need to be conducted as they are being done today. Rather, clinical trials will intend to confirm what would have been observed in the real world.

Current Situation’s Impact

“When COVID-19 hit, we felt responsible to participate in this fight,” says Jurgi Clamborg.

SOPHiA GENETICS’s focus has always been on cancer and rare disorders, but they knew their capabilities could be leveraged to help survey how the genome of the virus would evolve.

“It was obvious to us there would be many variants, and we should follow how those variants would spread over time, as well as geographically.”

Right now, the team helps decipher the genome of the virus in 10 countries – through institutions that locally sequence the genome of the virus and use SOPHiA Platform to compute it.

As they do so, they enable hospitals and health institutions to characterise those strains of the virus. The team also collects real-time information that allows them to see the new versions of the virus a few weeks ahead of any other system that has been set. On that basis, SOPHiA is now re-engaging conversations it had with health authorities a year ago, to see how it could help them in their decisions while providing precise and precious global real-time information.

Benefits from TechTour Events

“As entrepreneurs, we can sometimes feel alone within our companies. I believe the TechTour events bring an opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs, create relationships, and share experience. In my opinion, this is key as we can always learn from others. What’s more, the TechTour activities brought us visibility – in particular to the investment community,” concludes Jurgi Clamborg.