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AstraZeneca takes stake in health tech start-up Huma


AstraZeneca’s logo is displayed on a large screen. This Saturday, March 26th, 2021 in Dublin, Ireland

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LONDON — AstraZenecaAs part of a wider commercial tie up between both companies, Huma announced Wednesday that it had invested in Huma (a U.K.-based medical tech start-up).

The British pharmaceuticals giant has taken a roughly £25 million ($33 million) stake in Huma, according to a person familiar with the matter. This person did not wish to discuss commercially sensitive information and preferred to keep their identity secret.

Huma will receive AMAZE from AstraZeneca as part of the agreement, according to the person.

AstraZeneca declined to comment about the terms of their financial agreement.

CNBC spoke with AstraZeneca’s spokesperson, “AstraZeneca is going to become a shareholder at Huma in order to continue its mission of creating strategic partnerships throughout the healthcare ecosystem.”

“We will cooperate closely to scale AMAZE across many projects driving our shared ambition of improving clinical outcomes through digital healthcare solutions that bridge gaps between patients, clinicians and researchers.”

Huma creates apps that allow doctors to remotely monitor patients’ vital signs and symptoms. Additionally, it collects patient data remotely using wearables, smartphones, and other devices. This allows clinicians to conduct medical research with patients.

AstraZeneca works already with Huma to conduct virtual clinical trials using its technology. CNBC’s CEO Dan Vahdat said that Huma is now the company’s “extended digital arm”.

Vahdat explained that digital tools were becoming standard on the research side. We are well-positioned thanks to the existing network of patients and the ease of our technology.

Vahdat claimed that Huma’s progress in virtual clinical trials was “accelerated by the coronavirus epidemic.” The technology could dramatically cut down the costs and time required to complete drug trials, according to Vahdat. He said that virtual trials could reduce the time and costs required to approve a drug for clinical use by two years, and only cost $1.5 billion.

Vahdat explained that Huma’s move will help them expand further in America, as AstraZeneca partners with Stanford University and Massachusetts General Hospital.

This is AstraZeneca’s rare investment in a start-up. Pfizer ModernaCovid-19 is manufactured by a number of companies worldwide, including.

Karan Arora (AstraZeneca’s chief digital commercial officer) stated Wednesday that the deal was a “first for AstraZeneca” in the digital world.

Arora stated, “With Huma we are speeding AstraZeneca’s ambition to attain earlier diagnosis and treatment of patients with chronic illnesses so that they can live better, happier lives.”

Huma was founded in 2011 under the name Medopad. To date, it has received more than $200,000,000 in venture capital funding from various investors. Bayer, Samsung Sony.