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GOING PUBLIC IN UK 'WAS APPROPRIATE' FOR SENSYNE HEALTH

 

 

Sensyne Health  has listed in London with a capitalization of £225m, giving the Oxford, UK-based clinical artificial intelligence specialist adequate financing to hire the physicians, computer scientists and data analysts needed to eventually reach profitability, its CEO Lord Drayson said in an interview.

The initial public offering on the AIM bourse raised £60m through a placing with institutional investors. Sensyne uses AI to analyze National Health Service patient data, in large part using partnerships with NHS trusts, searching for clinical clues and patterns that can be then be used for developing digital health products. 

In an interview with Scrip, serial entrepreneur Lord Drayson explained why London's small AIM exchange was chosen for the listing, how the three trusts that Sensyne has partnered with will benefit, and why he is looking for up to three more UK-based trusts to collaborate with in building the AI specialist's databases.

Sensyne Health already has partnerships with three UK hospital trusts: the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (OUH), the Chelsea & Westminister Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust.

The three NHS trusts collectively now own around 10% of Sensyne Health as a result of its public listing.

"We chose to list on London's AIM stock market because we're a UK company working in the UK working in partnership with NHS trusts so we really felt it was the most appropriate place to list the company." - Sensyne Health CEO Lord Drayson 

"The business is being set up to work in partnership with the NHS trusts to be able to anonymize patient data and then be able to analyse that data for the purpose of pharmaceutical discovery in a way that would maintain patient trust in the long term," the former UK science minister said.

"We felt that in doing so it would be important to provide a financial return to the NHS. We came up with a structure of providing both equity in the company for those trusts that work with us, and a share of royalties from revenues generated, giving them a capital interest in the growth of the company and an annuity stream," Drayson said.

Given that the trusts are public entities, it was decided that the best approach was to go for a public listing. "That would offer the needed transparency from a corporate governance standpoint and a quote for the publicly listed stock, as opposed to it being a privately held company," he said.

"We chose to list on London's AIM stock market because we're a UK company working in the UK working in partnership with NHS trusts so we really felt it was the most appropriate place to list the company," Drayson explained.

"We think that adding another three NHS trusts to make a total of six will provide us with sufficient diversity in terms of population demographics and the database size needed to allow us to study the rarest of diseases." - Lord Drayson

A maximum of three other NHS hospital trust collaborations will now be sought by Drayson and his board, which includes Professor John Bell of Oxford, a prominent scientist in the fields of autoimmune disease and immunology and a founder of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics.

"We believe that six trust partnerships is the right size for us; we'll be looking to partner with trusts in the north of England and one in Scotland. We think that adding another three NHS trusts to make a total of six will provide us with sufficient diversity in terms of population demographics and the database size needed to allow us to study the rarest of diseases." 

The company has clinically validated software applications powered by artificial intelligence including prescribed digital therapeutics and hospital systems for clinical care.

"Our digital software products are already being used in more than 100 wards within the NHS: products for the management of diabetes within pregnancy, vital signs management within hospitals," Drayson said.

Sensyne's products are only being used in the UK at the moment but Drayson said the group is in talks that might open up the US market to it.

"We have an MOU [memorandum of understanding] with a major US-based healthcare provider and hospital group in the US who are helping us assess the appropriate regulatory pathway for the introduction of products in that market at a future date," Drayson said, but declined to give details.

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