Healx, a biotech firm that was supported by the Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, says it is using its artificial intelligence (AI) platform to develop drug combinations from approved drugs to seek treatments for COVID-19.
The Cambridge-based company, which specialises in rare diseases, said combination therapy candidates will be available in May for testing in collaboration with partners.
Healx said that the focus on combination therapies, where two or more drugs simultaneously target different aspects of the disease pathology, has the potential to ensure a more effective treatment.
Combination therapies are particularly difficult to discover, as it requires detailed analysis of millions of possible pairs from the thousands of drugs on the market. The Healx AI platform, Healnet, analyses biomedical data from multiple sources to predict those combination therapies most likely to succeed.
“The recent spread of COVID-19 is risking the lives of millions of rare disease patients across the world,” said Dr David Brown, Healx Chairman and co-founder. “Healx’s data-driven AI platform is able to predict, within weeks, which known drugs can be repurposed to treat other conditions such as COVID-19. This approach significantly shortens discovery-to-clinic timelines.”