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12 March, 2018 - 11:50 By Tony Quested

Global investors engage in potential $10m Healx Series A

Cambridge UK startup Healx, which matches repurposed drugs to rare diseases, has ramped up engagement with global investors for a proposed $10 million Series A round.

Founder and CEO Tim Guilliams tells Business Weekly that the company already has interest from science & technology investors in London, Silicon Valley, Germany and Japan.

“It hasn't yet been defined who will lead; we are negotiating term sheets at the moment but the interest from global backers is extremely encouraging,” Guilliams said.

Healx’s fundraising effort has been substantially boosted by the recruitment of AstraZeneca’s Shaun Grady to the board. Grady is vice-president business development operations, leading AstraZeneca’s transaction execution, due diligence and alliance and integration management function. This includes late-stage as well as on-market licensing and partnering, M & A, and divestments.

His career background includes roles at ICI, Zeneca, and AstraZeneca in corporate, pharmaceuticals and US Legal departments, HR and business development.

He has worked on major projects including the AstraZeneca merger, creation of Avecia and Syngenta,the  acquisitions of Cambridge Antibody Technology, MedImmune and Amylin, and the spin out of Albireo.

Grady says: “I often say being in business development is having the best job in AstraZeneca in terms of the motivation, interest and challenging work we do with incredibly smart people from science and business on projects that really make a difference for our partners and patients.

“Cambridge is an exciting and innovative cluster in the global life science arena and I am enjoying my role on the Healx board enormously.”

Guilliams added: “We are incredibly excited to have AstraZeneca's top dealmaker on board. Pharma partnerships and collaborations are absolutely key for Healx's growth phase and future success and in this regard we couldn't have found anyone better.”

Healx uses machine learning algorithms and computational biology to identify novel drug applications for rare diseases. It works with patient groups and charities to help identify drug repurposing opportunities and help translate basic research into tangible potential treatments.

Healx transforms the lives of rare disease patients by intelligently matching drug treatments.

The business moved to a new offices last summer – located on Castle Park in Cambridge  – and grew the team to 15 people. 

Guilliams says headcount will double in size with the Series A round. He added: “We are really growing quickly now globally. Half of Healx contracts are already in the United States, which is proving a ready market for our unique proposition.”

• Photograph of Shaun Grady – courtesy of AstraZeneca

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