Glasgow healthtech firm Talking Medicines targets US growth after £1.5 million injection

Glasgow healthtech firm Talking Medicines has secured a £1.5 million funding injection to support its plans to expand into the US.

Boston-based life science investor Mark Bamforth of Thairm Bio has joined the current funders in a syndicated funding round of £1.5m, alongside Tern, the investment company specialising in the internet of things, impact investor SIS Ventures, and Scottish Enterprise, which has also provided grant funding through its Smart:Scotland programme.

The latest investment brings the total raised by Talking Medicines, which was founded in 2013, to £4m.

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Through a combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and industry expertise, the firm has developed the next generation data platform to bring “social listening” for pharmaceutical companies into the new age. Its platform, PatientMetRx, is driven by AI models that use machine learning and natural language processing to provide science-based insights which are said to “cut through the noise from social platforms”.

CEO and entrepreneur Jo Halliday, alongside Dr Elizabeth Fairley and Dr Scott Crae, all of Talking Medicines. Picture: Jeff Holmes

The company is focusing this year on expanding its platform subscription base amongst pharma brand teams and pharma marketing agencies. It has established a new office in New Jersey to support these plans with a view to recruiting a US-based sales team.

Established by chief executive Jo Halliday alongside co-founders Elizabeth Fairley and Scott Crae, Talking Medicines was founded upon the principle of “profit with purpose”.

The venture has scooped a number of accolades in recent years including, most recently, being announced as one of the First 100 UK digital health companies by the UK Department of Trade & Industry.

Halliday said: “2022 promises to be a big year for Talking Medicines with this new investment. Having scaled up our operations and formally launched our PatientMetRx technology platform, we’ve now got our sights set on expanding in the US pharma market, providing brand teams and agencies with a new way of understanding what patients are really saying and feeling about their medicines.

“The pharmaceutical industry will go through seismic change this year and our actionable patient insights will be transformational for the industry. Our new office in New Jersey provides the ideal base for us to build relationships with customers, acquire new leads and drive revenue growth.”

Rob Halliday, senior investment manager, SIS Ventures, said: “The transition to digital, accelerated by the pandemic, has further increased the relevance of Talking Medicines’ disruptive, high-growth, and impact technology.

“Talking Medicines’ social mission is to improve patient outcomes through the provision of gold standard, real-world, patient experience data, by medicine. This actionable intelligence will drive more effective patient care and support.

“We believe Talking Medicines is extraordinarily well positioned for significant growth and impact creation over the coming year and SIS Ventures is looking forward to sharing and supporting that journey.”

Al Sisto, chief executive of Tern and chairman of Talking Medicines, added: “We are very pleased to be announcing this fundraising for Talking Medicines, which provides them with an important new investor and funding for the continued development and in particular their planned expansion into the US.

“Talking Medicines has made very significant progress since Tern first invested in November 2020.”

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