Hikma Pharmaceuticals PLC announces that its venture capital arm, Hikma Ventures has led a CAD 5.6 million oversubscribed round of financing for Winterlight Labs Inc. with participation from First Star Ventures, Pacific Health Ventures, existing investor Grey Sky Venture Partners and other investors.
Toronto-based Winterlight Labs Inc. is developing a proprietary Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology that melds computational linguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and machine learning to help healthcare professionals assess and analyse patients’ cognitive health – including memory, thinking and reasoning – from vocal markers captured in short snippets of speech on a tablet computer. Using a one-minute sample of a patient’s natural speech, Winterlight’s novel approach can quickly and accurately detect various cognitive and mental disorders, such as dementia and aphasia amongst others, and then monitor the efficacy of treatments.
Lana Ghanem, Managing Director of Hikma Ventures, said, “We are very excited to enter into the field of vocal diagnostics by leading the investment in Winterlight Labs. We recognise the global potential of voice analysis for the diagnosis, monitoring and ongoing treatment of various diseases and look forward to working with the team and our co-investors to help advance the technology and expand disease areas and geographies covered, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Hikma Ventures operates as the corporate venture capital arm of Hikma Pharmaceuticals. Its priority is to identify and invest in emerging companies in the digital health space globally that have the potential to enhance Hikma’s market intelligence and future pipeline.
“We are happy to have Hikma Ventures and other investors join Winterlight Labs in our mission to improve the lives of people with dementia and other psychiatric illnesses,” commented Liam Kaufman, Co-founder and CEO of Winterlight Labs. “The technology our team is creating will reshape the way healthcare systems track, screen for and assess the effectiveness of treatments for various central nervous system diseases.”
Winterlight will be using the proceeds of this financing to extend its technology to additional indications, such as schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis, as well as additional languages. “Our ultimate goal is to help patients get better sooner by objectively measuring response to therapy in the real world through speech,” continued Kaufman.