– UK startup Healx lands $56M, led by Atomico to build an AI-driven clinical-stage portfolio for rare diseases, including treatments for fragile X syndrome, the leading genetic cause of autism.
– Healx’s Rare Treatment Accelerator program is a new initiative launched in close partnership with patient communities to identify clinic-ready treatments for rare diseases within 24 months.
Healx, a Cambridge, England-based AI-powered and patient-inspired technology company specializing in treatments for rare diseases, today announces that it has raised $56M in a Series B financing round, led by one of Europe’s largest VC firms Atomico and joined by Intel Capital, Global Brain, and btov Partners. All previous investors, including Balderton Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Jonathan Milner also participated in the round.
Disrupting The Traditional Drug Discovery Process
Founded in 2014, Healx integrates artificial intelligence with expert pharmacology to discover new treatments for rare diseases and to accelerate them into clinical trials within 2 years. To achieve this, Healx has developed the most comprehensive AI-based drug discovery platform for rare diseases: HealNet. HealNet disrupts the conventional process of drug discovery, reducing the costs, time and risk of bringing new therapies to market. The company’s plan is to have 100 treatments for rare diseases in development by 2025.
Global Rare Treatment Accelerator Launch
Where the traditional drug discovery model takes more than a decade and can run into the billions of dollars, Healx’s AI-driven approach makes the process faster, more efficient and more cost-effective. With the launch of the Rare Treatment Accelerator, Healx and partnering patient groups will be able to scale the impact of this approach by leveraging the power of AI and combining their knowledge, information and expertise so that, together, they can discover new treatments and move them towards the clinic within 24 months.
The company plans to use the latest round of funding to develop the company’s therapeutic pipeline and to launch its global Rare Treatment Accelerator program. Patient communities can apply to join the Rare Treatment Accelerator online at www.healx.io/rare-treatment-accelerator.
The company previously validated this innovative model with the FRAXA Research Foundation. Fragile X syndrome is the leading genetic cause of autism. There are currently no approved treatments for the disease, but as a result of their collaboration, Healx and FRAXA will soon be launching promising clinical trials to test multiple treatment combinations. Further clinical programs for other rare diseases are set to start later in 2020. This Series B round follows a $10 million Series A round in 2018. Since then, Healx has strengthened its senior executive team and more than doubled overall headcount.
Why It Matters
“The size of this Series B financing, especially this quickly after our Series A round last year, is an endorsement of the value of our platform and the pace at which we have developed. It allows us to scale our impact with the launch of our Rare Treatment Accelerator program and to progress into clinical trials. The trials for our fragile X treatments are just the start of the impact we believe our technology is capable of having on drug discovery. Rare diseases affect over 400 million patients worldwide. Of the 7,000 rare diseases known today, 95% are still without an approved treatment,” said Healx Co-Founder and CEO, Dr. Tim Guilliam.
“To date, it’s been families and patient groups who have had to become experts in the diseases affecting their loved ones and have often been the ones driving forward the efforts into finding new treatments. With our unique combination of in-house R&D, industry collaborations and now the Rare Treatment Accelerator, we look forward to supporting these groups in their mission,” Guilliams added.