Boris Johnson pledges £250M to spur AI adoption in NHS; SQZ scoops CFO Teri Loxam from Merck
→ Last year, former UK health secretary Jeremy Hunt commissioned California-based Eric Topol, a cardiologist, author and digital medicine researcher, to carry out an independent review into the digital training needs of NHS staff. The report was released in February, detailing the promise of genomics, artificial intelligence, robotics and digital medicine in the prevention, management and treatment of disease. On Thursday, the UK health department — under new Prime Minister Boris Johnson — unveiled a £250 million investment in Al, which is already being developed in some hospitals, successfully predicting cancer survival rates and cutting the number of missed appointments.
→ Cell therapy player SQZ Biotech has wooed senior Merck exec Teri Loxam to become its CFO. The pharma giant said that Loxam, who’s been managing investor relations and global communications, “will be missed personally and professionally.” Peter Dannenbaum has been promoted to fill her shoes.
→ Agenus has reaped another $7.5 million from its partnership with Gilead, bagging the second milestone payment since Gilead put down $150 million on the deal table late last year. the IND clearance of AGEN2373, a CD137 agonist and one of up to five immuno-oncology projects that its big biotech partner signed up for. It’s still just a taste of the potential fortunes to come, though: If all goes smoothly, Agenus — which had been struggling for cash prior to the deal — is in for $1.7 billion total.