Healx, a Cambridge, U.K.-based startup using AI to help discover new treatments for rare diseases, has raised $56 million in Series B funding.
Healx says the new financing will be used to develop the company’s “therapeutic pipeline” and to launch its global Rare Treatment Accelerator programme, which will partner with patient groups in an attempt to make rare desease drug discovery much more efficient.
“The traditional model of discovery and clinical development of new medicines is very expensive in terms of costs, timelines and efficacy.
To bring a new drug to market typically costs $2-3 billion, takes 12-14 years to develop and has a 95% failure rate”.
Specifically, Guilliams says that the current model doesn’t work for diseases which have a small patient population as the return on investment from drug sales simply won’t work with the discovery and development costs being so high.
However, Guilliams says Healx is taking a different approach to other companies in the space, which also includes Recursion Pharmaceuticals and Insilico Medicine.
In addition, Guilliams says that Healx’s technology is data-driven and “hypothesis-free,” which is very different from traditional target-based drug discovery.