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Healx welcomes Kate Hilyard, leading pharma executive, to drive the integration of AI with drug discovery for rare diseases

3 October 2018   |  
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Kate Hilyard appointment press release

We are very excited to announce the appointment of Kate Hilyard as our COO. Kate has extensive expertise in drug discovery and her appointment underlines our mission to combine deep pharmacological expertise with Artificial Intelligence to develop treatments for rare disease patients.

At Healx, Kate will lead strategy implementation to drive business growth enabling Healx to deliver rare disease treatments at scale through AI and cutting-edge technologies. Her industry experience adds to that of co-founder Dr David Brown, the inventor of Viagra and ex- Global Head of Drug Discovery at Roche, and the Healx drug discovery team. The Company’s massively parallel approach to drug discovery combines its unique AI technologies with one of the largest collections of insights from rare disease patient groups.

Welcoming Kate to the Company, Tim Guilliams, Healx’s co-founder and CEO said:

“Kate brings a wealth of experience to Healx and her appointment is a real coup. Having started Healx with an artificial intelligence and patient care focus, Kate’s appointment broadens our senior expertise with further deep rare disease research knowhow and will be core to our goal of transforming the lives of patients, using our AI to find treatments based on existing drugs. Kate will help shape the next company milestones as we grow our world-class talent and demonstrate our ambition to transform the lives of rare disease patients.”

Kate’s track record of scientific and business leadership includes over 25 years’ drug discovery experience in the pharma and biotech sector, with a decade finding new treatments for rare diseases. She joins from Charles River where she was Corporate Vice President Discovery, leading and integrating multiple sites in the UK, EU and US working with a global client base. Previously she has held senior leadership roles at BioFocus DPI Ltd (which was acquired by Charles River) and Cambridge Antibody Technology (now part of MedImmune), having commenced her industry career at Roche. She gained her PhD in molecular immunology from Oxford University and her early academic career includes postdoctoral research in human biology at Oxford and Harvard Universities.

Commenting on her appointment, Kate Hilyard, COO, Healx said:

“The unmet medical need for patients with rare diseases cannot be met using the traditional drug discovery and development approach. A radical shift away from blockbuster drugs towards more personalised treatments and patient-centric approaches is required. Using AI to discover new therapies has already been shown to be transformative in terms of time and money spent on clinical trials and Healx is at the forefront of changing drug discovery using AI. It is exciting to be joining the ambitious Healx team at this pivotal time, to use my extensive experience of transforming drug discovery organisations to make a difference to rare disease patient lives.”

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