Saturday 02 Dec 2023
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KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 13): European start-ups using artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare are becoming the new rage for venture capitalists.

The Financial Times-backed Sifted, which reports news and analysis of European start-ups and their founders, investors and partners, last week said in November alone, biotech company Owkin and telehealth firm SWORD Health both became unicorns.

Meanwhile, digital therapy company leso also announced a US$53 million (about RM223.02 million) raise, biotech firm Nuritas bagged US$45 million and R&D cloud platform Synthace secured US$35 million.

Sifted said these firms all use AI to power their products.

It quoted Owkin head of strategy Anna Huyhues-Despointes as saying that some of the biggest cheques in healthtech this year were written for companies using AI to assist in drug and treatment development.

"Investors are way more educated on the market. But [start-ups using AI] are as well.

"Five years ago, no one knew what could be done. Now we know what can be done — which doesn't mean we have exhausted all the possibilities yet," she said.

The report added that big pharma companies are starting to report real results from working with AI start-ups.

AstraZeneca, for example, is collaborating with BenevolentAI on research into treatments for chronic kidney disease.

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