Healx, an UK-based health tech firm that specializes in treatments for rare diseases, has raised $56 million 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. Healx said it will use the money to develop the company’s therapeutic pipeline and to launch its global Rare Treatment Accelerator program.
“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,” said Healx Co-Founder and CEO, Dr Tim Guilliams.
“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 world-wide. Of the 7,000 rare diseases known today, 95% are still without an approved treatment.”
Traditional method of drug 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,” Guilliams told TechCrunch.
Healx’s AI-driven approach makes the process faster, more efficient and more cost-effective, the company said. 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 said its mission is to advance 100 rare disease treatments towards the clinic by 2025. Healnet, Healx’s AI platform, delivers data-driven treatment predictions, which shortens the discovery-to-clinic timeline to as little as 24 months. It is the world’s leading AI platform on rare diseases and integrates scientific literature, clinical trial results and proprietary data in the form of a biomedical knowledge graph, pinpointing the potential therapeutic relationships between drugs and diseases.