Healx raises $56M Series B to use AI to find treatments for rare diseases

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.

Leading the round is London-base VC firm Atomico, with participation by Intel Capital, Global Brain and btov Partners. All previous investors, including Balderton Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners, and Jonathan Milner have also followed on.

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.

More broadly, the aim is to discover new treatments and move them towards clinic “within 24 months,” which is significantly faster than the status quo. Meanwhile, many rare conditions aren’t currently the focus of new treatments at all.

“There are over 7,000 rare diseases affecting 400 million people worldwide (50% of these are children). Of these diseases, 95% still lack an approved treatment today,” Healx co-founder and CEO Dr Tim Guilliams tells TechCrunch.

“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

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