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Using Data to Tackle Disease: Founder of iLof Joins Startup Savants

As technology has advanced, healthcare has advanced along with it. Software, internet-connected devices, and other digital tools have revolutionized how we provide healthcare in ways that would have been unimaginable a few decades ago. Luís Valente, the founder of the UK-based startup iLoF, joins Startup Savants to discuss how his company uses biological data and artificial intelligence (AI) to help create better treatments targeted to individuals.

  • Startup Savants is a business podcast that tells the stories behind up-and-coming startups.
  • Luís Valente joins Startup Savants to discuss launching his medtech startup.
  • iLof is a startup that uses biological data and AI to help create better treatments targeted to individuals.

Different Patients Need Different Treatments

Valente said during his interview with Startup Savants that the idea for his company arose from the realization that for centuries, healthcare providers have developed treatments by assuming that the same medication would work equally well for everyone with a given medical condition. 

However, that simply is not the case. At this point, it has become apparent that different patients with the same condition, such as Alzheimer’s disease, often respond to a particular medication differently. 

“For the past 20 years, there have been more than 400 tries to get a successful and disease-modifying [Alzheimer’s] treatment into the market, and they mostly all failed for various reasons,” he said during his interview. “So, it’s really important to develop medications that are tailored to specific patient groups, and this is basically what it was born to do.”

Specifically, the company is helping researchers and physicians at biotech and pharmaceutical companies better understand the patients they’re creating medications and treatments for. In doing so, “We are cutting the time and the cost that it takes them to create these medications, and hopefully, this will allow millions of patients currently living with complex neurological diseases to finally get a treatment that it’s useful for them,” he said. 

Data Collection Is Key

it is focusing first on neurodegenerative diseases because of their increasing prevalence in modern societies. To help the medical community come up with better treatments, it is using AI to collect massive amounts of data from patients’ biological profiles. While other companies have tried to do this with genomics, it is taking a different approach.

“Collecting data on genomics only gives you half of the picture,” he said during his interview. “It’s very [good at] telling you what can happen to your body, but it’s not so useful in telling you how your profile changes as you grow old and make different lifestyle choices.” By contrast, it is “using optical data – let’s say spectrums, the way that the light interacts with patients’ biological fluids – to understand the ensemble of particles in patients’ biological fluids.” 

These particles include peptides, proteins, exosomes, and other elements of someone’s blood. The company collects and shares this data with pharmaceutical and biotech companies to help them develop new treatments faster and cheaper. 

Startup Savants Podcast 

The Startup Savants podcast is a business podcast created by The Useful Information Company (TRUiC). Listeners can hear the stories behind startups, as told by their founders, who are growing their companies.

Ethan, an entrepreneur, and Annaka, a branding expert, host the Startup Savants podcast. They bring disparate skills and life experiences to their interviews, providing listeners with important business insights and a holistic perspective on the startup ecosystem. 

Hear from a variety of real startup founders from around the globe and with varying backgrounds about making their startup ideas a reality. Learn from experts sharing their industry knowledge on venture capital, securing funding, and more on the Startup Savants podcast. 

Final Thoughts

Luís Valente joins Annaka and Ethan to talk about iLof, his startup that uses biological data to help create better treatments targeted to individuals. Luís shares his insights on building credibility, finding initial funding, and why you should choose investors and mentors wisely. 

You can find the Startup Savants podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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