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AI company Sensyne raises £60m in IPO

University of Oxford-developed tech powers health-focused company

Lord Drayson

Sensyne is led by Powderject founder and ex-minister Lord Drayson

Artificial intelligence company Sensyne Health has successfully made its debut on London’s AIM exchange, raising £60m to back a business model that is based on sifting through NHS data to find clinical leads.

Oxford-based Sensyne is led by former UK science minister Paul Drayson and unusually features three NHS Trusts among its shareholders, along with significant backing from Woodford Investment Management and Landsdowne Partners according to its AIM prospectus. It also has a high-profile board, including NHS England’s Sir Bruce Keogh and eminent immunologist and geneticist Professor Sir John Bell, who will serve as non-executive chairman.

Lord Drayson – who was one of the founders of PowderJect Pharma in 1993 and sold the company 10 years later for £540m - said that the company’s business model “provides a financial return to our partner NHS Trusts via equity ownership in the company and a share of royalties.”

Sensyne uses AI algorithms developed at the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals (OUH) NHS Foundation Trust to analyse anonymised patient data in the hope of discovering insights that will guide the development of new drugs, as well as real-world evidence-based software to improve patient care and the conduct of clinical trials that could be of value to pharma companies.

Since being set up it has forged agreements with OUH as well as Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust that collectively handle more than half a million hospital admissions per year. It’s hoping to expand that to six collaborations around the UK, according to a Financial Times report.

Sensyne (which recently changed its name from Drayson Technologies) has already developed a suite of apps including an early warning system that monitors patient vital signs in hospital, and software to help patients manage gestational diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at home. According to the prospectus, it’s also working on additional digital health software products in respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological and immunological diseases as well as cancer.

The idea behind the software is that in addition to helping patients manage their illness, the apps can harvest anonymised, real-world data that can be fed back into its discovery engine.

Sensyne operates a “docking station” approach that makes it “a bridge between NHS trusts and pharmaceutical companies in an ethical way that unlocks the value of NHS patient data for medical research without compromising patient confidentiality,” says the company.

Article by
Phil Taylor

14th August 2018

From: Healthcare

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