H|T: The Healthtech Times – Recursion acquires two Canadian AI drug-discovery companies

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Plus: FDA commissioner: "hard to catch up" on regulating digital health.

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American biotech Recursion acquires two Canadian AI drug-discovery companies, Cyclica and Valence (BETAKIT)

Recursion, a drug-discovery company based in Salt Lake City, will buy Canadian AI drug-discovery companies Cyclica for $53.4 million CAD ($40 million USD), and Valence for $63.4 million CAD ($47.5 million USD). It expects both acquisitions to be completed in the second quarter of 2023.

‘Hard to catch up’: FDA commissioner on regulating new digital health tools (STAT NEWS)

Digital health tools are developing faster than the Food and Drug Administration is able to regulate them, FDA Commissioner Robert Califf acknowledged this week.

“I think we’re behind, and it’s going to be really hard to catch up,” Califf said in a speech Monday at the National Health Council’s patient engagement symposium.

“A new bottom”: Toronto and Waterloo Region venture funding fell short in first quarter of 2023 (BETAKIT)

Venture funding in Toronto and the Waterloo Region had a particularly sluggish start to 2023, with startups in the neighbouring tech ecosystems raising less than eight percent of what was raised in the same quarter last year.

MultiPlan shells out $160M for analytics AI company Benefits Science (FIERCE HEALTHCARE)

MultiPlan announced that it has acquired analytics and AI company Benefits Science Technologies (BST) for $160 million.

BST's platform uses AI to optimize financial and clinical decision-making for around 75,000 employers looking to predict and mitigate future risk and manage health plan decisions.

BC venture deal volume reached a three-year low in first quarter of 2023 (BETAKIT)

According to briefed.in's latest report, in the first quarter of 2021, startups in BC raised a total of $95.1 million through nine deals. Investment in terms of dollars raised fell by 78 percent from the fourth quarter of 2022 and 82 percent year-over-year.

Cue Health lays off another 30% of workforce (MOBIHEALTHNEWS)

Cue Health laid off another 326 workers, or about 30% of the home diagnostics company's workforce, as part of a new cost reduction plan.

The cuts mark a second round of layoffs this year. In January, Cue laid off 388 employees, about 26% of its workforce.

How startups can better manage their e-waste (BETAKIT)

The life cycle of electronics needs to be re-envisioned, said Electronic Recycling Association (ERA) managing director Andrew Wesolowski, especially if we want to sustain the environment we inhabit.

Wesolowski said startups are the target businesses the ERA aims to help with the equipment it repurposes, as they "typically would not have much to discard since they are just entering the market."

Digital health guidance platform Amino snags $80M in the midst of shaky economy (FIERCE HEALTHCARE)

Despite record inflation, peak interest rates and lingering questions of a recession, digital healthcare guidance platform Amino Health is excelling with $80 million in recent financing.

Amino began as a direct-to-consumer product that only recently evolved into an enterprise subscription model serving health plan members, third-party administrators, benefits administrators and concierge care vendors.

Inflation blamed for decline in mental health of Canadian founders in the last year (BETAKIT)

Based on a survey with 1,500 respondents, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) found that rising inflation rates has taken a toll on startup founders, identifying that as a potential stressor that could be behind why their mental health significantly declined in the last year.

Oura Ring Maker to Buy Digital Identification Startup Proxy

Finnish wearable-technology maker Oura Health Oy is acquiring a little-known tech startup, Proxy Inc., which makes digital identification tools, the company plans to announce Tuesday.

San Francisco-based Proxy has been working in stealth mode on biometric systems that work with smartphones and wearables.

Odaia closes $34 million CAD Series B to fix “bottleneck” in drug delivery process (BETAKIT)

Toronto-based software startup Odaia has secured $34 million CAD ($25 million USD) in Series B financing co-led by Threshold Ventures and Monograph Capital, a pair of foreign venture capital investors focused on life sciences and healthtech companies.

Odaia’s software automates the data analysis process using AI and machine learning to collect and analyze phrama industry data sources, which is usually a long, intensive process needed to support sales and marketing efforts.

Google is training its generative AI to analyze medical images — and talk to doctors about them (STAT NEWS)

Google is infusing its generative AI model with medical images such as X-rays and mammograms to help it communicate with doctors about data routinely used in patient care.

While prior iterations of AI could either analyze images, or respond to questions, the company’s new model, known as Med-Palm 2, aims to put those capabilities together in a single system.

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Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at alexriehl.com or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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