Healx, a Cambridge based biotech company that develops innovative drugs for rare diseases, just bagged $10 million in a series A funding round led by Balderton Capital, in which Jonathan Milner and Amadeus Capital Partners, Healx’s prior investors, also took part. This marks the latest example of an artificial intelligence pharma startup getting funding to explore the positive impact of artificial intelligence in the healthcare space.
Integrating AI, deep pharmacology expertise, and patient engagement, Healx matches treatments with patients by redesigning and repositioning drug treatments.
AI actually takes over various parts of the healthcare system and overall social functions. Here are more insights on that subject from Codrin Arsene, CEO at Digital Authority Partners.
How does the British company use AI to further it’s research? Similar to San Francisco based artificial intelligence pharma startup Verge Genomics, Healx is using automated data gathering and analysis to tackle the main problems in drug discovery. The difference is that Healx also has a close partnership with patients and patient support groups, which offers the company one of its unique characteristics: patient insight.
Healx uses HealNet, a huge database filled with over one billion unique information points revealing how one particular patient and disease interacted with one drug. To dramatically reduce the time and cost of discovery, HealNet facilitates highly parallelized, automated, large scale drug discovery.
In sum, although the traditional way of creating and testing a new drug costs $2 billion and can be done in 10-15 years, with a 95 percent probability of failure, machine learning and AI can do it in only a fraction of that time. “I’ve been involved in getting a lot of drugs through clinical trials and this is four or five times faster than any I’ve been in before,” said Dr. Brown of progress so far.
The Healx way is faster, cheaper, and has already succeeded to find a cure for that by teaming up with FRAXA, the patient group for the Fragile-X Syndrome.
The fact that co-founder Dr. David Brown is also the co-inventor for the blockbuster drug Viagra is only another reassurance that this team and rare disease afflicted patients can dream even bigger.
Recently, Healthcare Weekly included Healx on their list of best healthcare startups to watch for in 2018.