Finalist category: AI For Good
AI for Good, Winner, 2021
There are 400 million people worldwide living with a rare disease. That’s roughly 1 in 17 people (or more than the entire population of the United States) and 50% of those rare conditions affect children. But despite this prevalence, only 5% of rare diseases have an approved treatment.
Healx is one of the only companies in the world using AI and machine learning for the specific aim of discovering and developing treatments for rare disease patients in need. In fact, the AI-powered drug discovery platform that they developed to do this, Healnet, is the world’s most comprehensive AI platform for the prediction of rare disease treatments and the team have built extensive connections with rare disease patient groups around the world to embed their insights right from the start of a project and into the platform itself. Their innovative approach means they can accelerate the pace, increase the scale and improve the chance of success of rare disease treatment development.
Since being founded in 2014 by Dr Tim Guilliams (a tech entrepreneur from Cambridge) and Dr David Brown (co-inventor of Viagra), Healx has added over a dozen projects to its pipeline, spanning rare neurodevelopmental, renal, respiratory, bone and neuromuscular disease areas – and they are hoping to launch their first clinical trial in summer 2021 for Fragile X syndrome – the leading inherited cause of autism and learning difficulties in the world.