Sano Genetics, a Cambridge-based research start-up, has secured £500,000 in seed funding for its platform which powers research into common and rare disorders such as depression, diabetes and muscular dystrophy. Sano says that its research platform is set apart by its transparency, letting individuals opt in or out of different studies, and share as much information as they want.

According to Patrick Short, Sano’s CEO, the platform lets scientists research personalised medicine and access health and genetic datasets, but does not remove individuals’ control of the process: “This is not a ‘nice to have’ – it’s an absolute requirement. When people trust in the system, and see the benefits from their participation, they are more likely to take part again in the future.”

The platform is free to register on, with basic medical history information required to help match individuals to relevant studies. Genetic data can be added to a profile, and used with consent for research. The platform can also be used to match individuals to researchers who can fund the cost of DNA sequencing.

Sano’s seed funds came from Seedcamp, Cambridge Enterprise and several individuals, alongside grant funding from the University of Cambridge, the Y Combinator Startup School and the Wellcome Genome Campus BioData Innovation Centre.