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Healx launches AI-powered indication expansion partnership with Ono Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.

4 August 2021   |  
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Cambridge, UK – 4 August 2021 – Healx, the AI-powered, patient-inspired technology company pioneering the next generation of drug discovery, today announced an exciting partnership with Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., one of Japan’s largest pharmaceutical companies and a global leader in the field of R&D-orientated drug discovery. The collaboration will leverage Healx’s innovative indication expansion technology to identify new disease indications with high unmet needs that could be treated by Ono’s proprietary assets.

Healx are experts in the field of AI-powered drug discovery and development and have built a suite of frontier technologies to rapidly identify and progress new therapies for some of the 95% of rare diseases currently without an approved treatment. At the core of Healx’s technological capabilities is their AI drug discovery platform, Healnet. Healnet integrates data from multiple sources – including biomedical research, patient insight, scientific literature and curated proprietary information – to form the world’s most detailed rare disease biomedical knowledge graph. This graph is analysed by Healx’s cutting-edge AI methods to pinpoint non-obvious disease-compound relationships with the highest probability of success. Critically, these models are trained to discover novel disease biology and modes of action, without being limited to a single biological target. 

Under the terms of the partnership agreement, Healx will deploy Healnet to find multiple new therapeutic indications for Ono’s proprietary assets. Healx will also utilise its considerable drug discovery and development expertise to provide Ono with a clear rationale for the predictions as well as a roadmap for preclinical validation of the assets. Ono will then select diseases from Healx’s therapeutic recommendations and progress them towards further validation studies.

This research collaboration will expand the precision medicine and drug discovery capabilities of Healx by increasing Healnet’s coverage of common disease signatures and enhancing the power and reach of its treatment predictions for conditions with high unmet medical needs. Beyond this partnership with Ono, Healx will continue to apply this cutting-edge technology to further expand its own portfolio, extend the number of rare diseases it can work on and scale the number of rare disease patients it can positively impact across the globe. Healx is also open to working with other pharmaceutical companies to expand the impact of their own pipeline assets, especially in the rare disease space. Interested parties can learn more about Healx’s collaboration opportunities here

Commenting on the partnership, Toichi Takino, Member of the Board and Senior Executive Officer / Executive Director of Discovery & Research at Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., said: “We extremely appreciate Healx’s AI technology, Healnet, for discovering new therapies that meet unmet medical needs in rare diseases. By combining the profiling data of new drug candidates and Healx’s AI technology, we expect to increase the efficiency of finding clinical indications with high prediction accuracy and identifying new drug candidates.”

Healx’s CEO, Dr Tim Guilliams, also said: “It is a great privilege to work with a renowned drug discovery company like Ono – especially as they share our mission to bring new, effective treatments to patients in need. We are excited to deploy our technology to expand the number of diseases Ono’s assets can impact and, ultimately, provide novel treatments to patients around the world. We strongly believe in the power of our next-generation AI platform to deliver disease indication predictions with unprecedented speed, scale and accuracy, and we look forward to having more to share in the coming months”.


About Healx

There are 7,000 known rare diseases that affect 400 million people across the globe, but only 5% of those conditions have approved treatments. Healx is an AI-powered, patient-inspired technology company pioneering the next wave of drug discovery in order to bring novel, effective treatments to rare disease patients around the world. By combining frontier technology with deep drug discovery and development expertise, Healx can accelerate the pace, increase the scale and improve the chance of success of rare disease treatment development in order to meet this huge unmet need and have unprecedented patient impact. 

Founded in Cambridge, UK, in 2014 by Dr Tim Guilliams (a Biochemical Engineer and tech entrepreneur) and Dr David Brown (co-inventor of Viagra and former Global Head of Drug Discovery at Roche), Healx has raised $70 million to date, added over a dozen projects to its risk-balanced therapeutic portfolio, and built a global team of over 80 drug discovery and development experts. For more information, visit www.healx.ai or follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.  

About Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., headquartered in Osaka Japan, is an R&D-oriented pharmaceutical company committed to creating innovative medicines in specific areas. ONO focuses its research on the oncology, immunology, neurology and specialty research with high medical needs as priority areas for discovery and development of innovative medicines. For further information, please visit https://www.ono-pharma.com/

For more information about Healx or the partnership, please contact:

Charlotte Chorley, Director of Strategic Alignment and Communications, Healx


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