Former UK Science Minister and biotech entrepreneur Paul Drayson recently drew public attention after floating his medical artificial intelligence (AI) company Sensyne Health with a whopping capitalization of £225 million.
The initial public offer (IPO) on AIM garnered £60 million thanks to a placing with institutional backers or investors. In this case, Peel Hunt was the bookrunner. Also, trading for the shares is set to kick start on Friday, August 17, 2018.
Currently, Sensyne utilizes artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze National Health Service patient data while looking for clinical insights that the pharmaceutical industry can exploit commercially. The company, which recently rebranded to Drayson Health, has a unique business model that is based on exclusive collaborations coupled with several NHS trusts.
Lord Drayson revealed to FT that only three deals so far have been made with various entities’ trusts including Chelsea & Westminster, South Warwickshire and Oxford University Hospitals. Nevertheless, the target is to partner with six trusts, which are spread out across the United Kingdom.
He added that accomplishing the goal would allow the company to create a database on a scale that represents various illness even the rare ones.
Sensyne, an Oxford-based startup, provides the NHS with what it refers to as “double bottom-line” return. In fact, each trust will get £5 million worth of share in the medical AI company coupled with a royalty on any product created using its data. Furthermore, Sensyne’s key focus is one chronic ailment that strains the NHS.
According to Lord Drayson, the NHS trust will end up owning nearly 10% of Sensyne’s equity. Before the initial public offer, he and his family-owned almost half of the company. Currently, their holding is below 50%. Other big shareholders in the company include Lansdowne Partners and Woodford Investment Management.
Lord Drayson also added that NHS patient data is currently an untapped resource. For this reason, Sensyne is bringing its expertise to make sense out of the anonymized data.
Lord Drayson acknowledged Google’s DeepMind as the main benchmark and competitor for what Sensyne Health is currently doing with clinical data, even though there are other numerous AI companies operating in the healthcare sector. For instance, Flatiron is presently undertaking a similar endeavor in oncology.
Additionally, Drayson pinpointed a unique feature of Sensyne, which is that the creation of its AI algorithms has been spearheaded by clinicians, particularly at Oxford University, as opposed to computer scientists.
Sensyne serves as a “docking station” that stands between NHS and the pharmaceutical industry, especially when it comes to unleashing the potential of NHS patient data without compromising the confidentiality of the patients. Even so, the data remains under the ownership of NHS.
In the meantime, talks are still ongoing with various drug companies seeking an opportunity to partner with Sensyne. Out of such efforts, one deal has been agreed upon with an unidentified company while the other six are still being negotiated.
Sir John Bell, heads the Sensyne’s board of directors as the non-executive chairperson. He is a chief architect of the government’s life sciences plan and a professor of medicine at Oxford University. Former NHS medical director Sir Bruce Keogh is also another company director.