Cambridge, UK – 17 June, 2020. Healx, the AI-powered, patient-inspired technology company accelerating the discovery and development of rare disease treatments at scale, is proud to announce that Meri Williams has joined its senior leadership team as Chief Technology Officer.
Meri joins from challenger bank Monzo, where she helped scale the engineering and data team by 500% and led significant investment in platform resilience and business continuity as Monzo’s customer base grew to over 4 million. Well-known for leading and scaling world class tech and product organisations, Meri will now focus on deepening Healx’s investment in artificial intelligence and data, and broadening the use of modern product engineering approaches to build world-class drug discovery tools.
Prior to Monzo, Meri led technology teams at award-winning online print and design company MOO, Marks and Spencer, and the Government Digital Service, having spent the first ten years of her career at Procter & Gamble. She also chairs The Lead Dev conference, which focuses on levelling up technical leaders and runs events in London, Berlin, New York and San Francisco. She’s also a published author, tech advisor to equitable venture firm Kindred Capital, international keynote speaker, and a trustee on the board of Stonewall, the UK’s leading LGBTQ rights charity.
“Meri brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the company,” said Tim Gulliams, CEO and co-founder of Healx. “She has worked with a range of high-performing organisations from digital disrupters to commercial giants, and we are very excited to have her on board to apply her ingenuity, innovation and vision to our work on rare diseases.”
Meri arrives at an important time for the company, as the team looks to expand, and advance their clinical pipeline. In line with Healx’s mission to identify and progress novel therapies for the 95% of rare diseases currently without approved treatment, Meri will be responsible for Healnet, Healx’s AI-driven drug discovery platform. Healnet integrates data from multiple sources, including biomedical research and scientific literature, to form the world’s most detailed rare disease knowledge graph. Most recently, this technology has been applied to identify potential combination therapies for COVID-19.
Commenting on her appointment, Meri Williams, CTO, said: “I couldn’t be more excited to join Healx. They have an incredibly inspiring mission, a fantastic team, and some genuinely groundbreaking technology which they’re applying to a complex and important set of problems. As a rare disease patient myself, I’m all too aware of the lack of investment in treatments for rare conditions. I’m truly overjoyed that I will get to use my academic background in artificial intelligence combined with my industry experience leading and scaling world class technology teams to help find treatments for rare disease patients faster, smarter and safer.”
Meri’s appointment consolidates Healx’s focus on technical excellence, and is the latest in a stream of senior hires. Findacure co-founder Dr Anthony Hall joined the team in February as Chief Medical Officer, and Dr Bruce Bloom, founder of Cures Within Reach, came on board in November as Chief Collaboration Officer and lead of the Rare Treatment Accelerator. Meri now looks to scale both Healx’s team and technology, and will be ramping up recruitment across a range of product, design, engineering, AI, data science and bioinformatics roles in the coming weeks.
Healx is an AI-powered, patient-inspired technology company, accelerating the discovery and development of rare disease treatments at scale. There are 7,000 known rare diseases that affect 350 million people across the globe but only 5% of those conditions have approved treatments. Healx’s mission is to identify and progress novel therapies for the 95% of rare diseases without approved treatment.
To do this, Healx combines AI technology with drug discovery expertise and patient insight to identify existing drugs that may be repurposed and combined to treat rare diseases. This innovative approach means treatments can be found more quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively than traditional drug discovery methods allow.
Healx was founded in 2014 in Cambridge, UK, by Dr Tim Guilliams, a Biochemical Engineer and Tech Entrepreneur, and Dr David Brown, co-inventor of Viagra and former Global Head of Drug Discovery at Roche. For more information, please visit www.healx.io or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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