SMALL CAP SHARE IDEAS: Woodford’s AI health darling Sensyne ‘makes significant progress’ as it provides software for coronavirus drug trial
Sensyne Health is at an important inflexion point not fully understood by the market, according to the company’s broker, Liberum, which has provided updated analysis of the med-tech firm’s prospects.
‘Looking ahead, the group is well placed to accelerate its commercialisation plans through the three partnerships it struck within its discovery science division and the launch of its innovative app portfolio in the US from its software products division,’ investors were told.
Headed by former science minister and serial entrepreneur, Lord Drayson, Sensyne specialises in the ethical application of clinical artificial intelligence (AI).
Practically, this means it develops software that connects clinicians with patients, while it also works with NHS trusts to garner insights from data using technology developed in partnership with Oxford University.
Sensyne Health has teamed up with Oxford University to provide the data analysis for a phase II clinical study of a drug to tackle the potentially fatal symptoms of Covid-19
The NHS holds cradle-to-grave health data that is now largely digitised and focused on medical outcomes.
By applying AI, Sensyne is aiming to unearth crucial new information that could improve clinical trial success rates, reduce approval times, or even help researchers find new drug targets.
Sensyne aims to operate in a ‘transparent, fair and effective’ way with patients and clinicians and the healthcare providers and life science companies that use NHS records.
This means there is a case-by-case approval process in place for each new contract or project. This is not is about wholesale data mining.
Third-party validation of Sensyne’s model came in the form of its first major pharmaceutical collaboration – a £5million deal with German giant Bayer.
It is also working with Switzerland’s Roche to apply AI to trial design and it has an agreement with Alexion, the Boston-based biopharma group.
Key developments include the launch of SENSE, a clinical algorithm engine created in partnership with Microsoft. Working with Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the technology will help provide personalised care for coronavirus sufferers.
Most recently Sensyne headed north of the border to expand its cache of anonymised health data by signing an agreement with the Greater Glasgow and Clyde NHS Trust.
Sensyne Health shares (currently trading at 54p each) have endured collateral damage from the closure of investor Neil Woodford’s positions
Sensyne’s prelims, meanwhile, revealed that apps such as its lead product GDm-Health, which is a prescribed digital therapeutic for remote management of diabetes in pregnancy, have seen significant adoption by doctors during the coronavirus outbreak.
Building on this success, Sensyne has launched BPm-Health for the management of blood pressure in pregnancy in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as creating DBm-Health for people with or at risk of diabetes.
It is working with AI specialist Agorai in the US and has also teamed up with Cognizant, one of the world’s leading IT services businesses, to launch products in the States.
On the Cognizant tie-up, Liberum points out: ‘It already has a product called Trizetto Tranzform that allows physicians to access real-time data and hence has the capabilities and distribution channels to commercialise Sensyne’s portfolio.’
Closer to home, it has teamed up with Oxford University to provide the data analysis for a phase II clinical study of a blockbuster arthritis drug that is being re-purposed to tackle the potentially fatal symptoms of Covid-19.
The trial is funded by a group led by the Wellcome Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which provides significant third-party validation for technology.
Significant top-line growth predicted
Sensyne reported £2million of revenues in the year to April 30, 2020. It sank £11.4million into research and development and made a loss from operations of £16.5million. More importantly, it has the cash required to achieve its commercial goals with £31.7million on the balance sheet as of April 30, 2020.
‘Based on our forecasts we believe this leaves the company funded well into 2022 which allows for its potentially highly lucrative app partnership with Cognzant to ramp-up,’ said Liberum in its results round-up.
It is predicting the group will achieve sales of £9.6million in the current financial year, rising to almost £22million in 12 months’ time.
Liberum values the stock at 260p. Reiterating its ‘buy’ advice, Liberum’s 260p price target comes from some fairly conservative assumptions for the app business, contract outsourcing and the drug discovery activities.
Senysne’s shares performance since its flotation in 2018
The shares (currently trading at 54p each) have endured collateral damage from the closure of investor Neil Woodford’s positions, compounded by what Liberum describes as ‘corporate governance issues’. It says both problems should now be considered historic.
Chief executive Drayson in his results commentary said the wider adoption of clinical artificial intelligence and remote patient monitoring during the pandemic ‘underlined the growth potential’ of Senysne’s model and what it can deliver.
Liberum concurs with this view: ‘We believe that Sensyne has made significant progress since listing and particularly since the Covid-19 outbreak.
‘However, this has been overshadowed by the closing down of the Woodford investment fund and corporate governance issues.
‘We think that both issues are behind the business whereas investors can look forward to an accelerating revenue profile, a US launch of its app portfolio and more strategic deals.’
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