Jul 24, 2020

Cyclica’s AI-powered, decentralised drug discovery platforms

Cyclica
AI
Pharmaceuticals
Startup
William Smith
2 min
Cyclica is a Toronto, Canada-based biotechnology company using AI to aid in the process of drug discovery
Cyclica is a Toronto, Canada-based biotechnology company using AI to aid in the process of drug discovery...

Cyclica is a Toronto, Canada-based biotechnology company using AI to aid in the process of drug discovery.

Cyclica’s Ligand Design and Ligand Express discovery platforms use deep and supervised learning to predict molecular properties.

The company says its commercial strategy involved the creation of drug discovery programmes via spin-outs and joint ventures with research institutions in different pharmaceutical areas, with Cyclica also planning to expand into sectors such as agro-chemicals.

Since its foundation in 2013, the company has raised almost $24mn across seven funding rounds. Its latest Series B, announced last month, saw the company raise CA$23mn (~$17mn) from lead investor Drive Capital, alongside Chiesi Farmaceutici and GreenSky Capital.

In a press release, Naheed Kurji, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Cyclica, said: “At the very core of Cyclica’s ethos is the steadfast desire to help patients by advancing the discovery and development of better medicines by taking a holistic yet personalized approach. We are driving this ambitious vision forward by partnering with hyper innovative biotech companies that are rooted in sound science, and we are enabling them with our platform, our team of applied scientists, and our network of external partners. By creating new companies through spin-outs and joint ventures and helping them scale, we are in effect creating the biotech pipeline of the future."

The company said it would use the funds to advance its drug discovery platforms, as well as accelerate its commercial plans.

“What attracted us to Cyclica was their creative and unique business model,” said Molly Bonakdarpour, Partner at Drive Capital. “They’ve createdh a diversified portfolio of assets across therapeutic indications through a partnership model. At the same time, they continue to collaborate with multinational companies. These companies represent strategic partnership options for the Cyclica portfolio. Cyclica is enabling world-class biotech companies while increasing their probability of success.”

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Jun 18, 2021

Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool 

AI
NHS
skincancer
Cancer
2 min
Skin Analytics uses AI to detect skin cancer and will be deployed across the NHS to ease patient backlogs

An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system. 

NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion. 

Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making. 

In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog. 

Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening. 

DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.

Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges. 

"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”

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