Healx, a UK-based biotechnology startup, has secured a $56 million in Series B funding to combat rare diseases using AI as reported by Bloomberg. This funding round was headed by Atomico, an investment company led by Swedish billionaire and founder of Skype Niklas Zennström.
Intel Capital, Global Brain, and btov Partners also participated in the funding round. Previous investors Balderton Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Jonathan Milner were part of this round as well.
What Healx is all about?
It is a Cambridge, U.K.-based Biotechnology startup that is integrating Artificial Intelligence with expert pharmacology to discover AI-based drug for the treatment of rare diseases.
The startup was founded by Andreas Bender, David Brown, David Cavalla, and Tim Guilliams in 2015. Currently, it has a workforce of 25-50 employees. Moreover, the funding status of the company is an early-stage venture.
Healx new ambitions with the funding
As per sources, the company aims to use $56 million in funding to develop a therapeutic pipeline and to initiate the Rare Treatment Accelerator program world-wide. They plan to partner with patient groups to accelerate the process of drug discovery.
Healx’s CEO, Dr. Tim Guilliams, says the traditional model of discovery and clinical development of new medicines takes about $2-3 billion and a vast period of 12-14 years to develop the drug of rare diseases. Unfortunately, the success rate is only 5%. So, Healx aims to speed up the process and to minimize this period to 24 months by using advanced AI applications.
Additionally, he said that organizations do not work for diseases that have a small patient population because they gain a minimal return on investment against the actual cost. Still, Healx has taken an initiative to progress 100 rare disease treatments by the end of 2025.
He explicitly stated that we are not the only ones who are inclined to develop AI-based drug for the treatment of rare diseases. However, our approach is quite different from other companies like Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Insilico Medicine, and BenevolentAI. Our mission is to maximize the value of already-approved drugs for rare genetic diseases, instead of working on the new molecules.
The thing that stands Healx out from the crowd is that it is not a traditional tech nor traditional biopharma. We are glad to know the company’s mission and strategy to use funding of $56 million. Things will take time, but we are seeing it as a leading company in its niche in a matter of years.
To know more about Healx, here is a video about them:
Featured image: Atomico