Listed AI HealthTech firm Sensyne Health has appointed Dr Annalisa Jenkins as acting chair as chairman Charles Swingland is recovering from illness.

The copmpany uses artificial intelligence to develop software that connects patients, clinicians and researchers.

The Oxford company has also defended its decision to pay six-figure bonuses to its CEO and CFO following the IPO in 2018.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, Sensyne revealed that Swingland’s recovery “may take a number of weeks”.

A current non-executive director at the firm, Dr Jenkins’ previous roles include SVP and head of global medical at Bristol Myers Squibb, head of global R&D at Merck Serono and CEO of Dimension Therapeutics, a Nasdaq-listed company that was acquired by Ultragenyx in 2017.

She currently chairs the boards of Cell Medica Limited, Vium and Cocoon Biotech and holds non-executive positions at Ardelyx, Oncimmune Holdings, AVROBIO and AgeX Therapeutics.

Sensyne also released a statement defending its decision to pay CEO Lord Drayson (pictured below) - a former UK Science Minister - and CFO Lorrie Headley IPO bonuses of £850,000 and £200,000 respectively in December 2018.

Drayson

The flotation on 17th August 2018 raised £60 million in new investment.

“While the company received a preliminary view from [adviser and broker] Peel Hunt LLP as to a likely unfavourable market reaction to the proposed payments, the company did not discuss the proposals further with Peel Hunt prior to making the payments,” it read.

“The directors (other than Lord Drayson and Lorrie Headley) considered the payments to be appropriate and remain of that view. Peel Hunt cannot advise as to whether the payments were fair and reasonable.

“The company intends to consult with its major institutional shareholders on the payments and its remuneration policy following the publication of its annual report on 7th October 2019.”

Sensyne works with several NHS Trusts. The patient population covered by its partners numbers in the millions.

In an interview with BusinessCloud last year, Lord Drayson spoke about his ambitions to build world-leading technology company.

"I want it to become one of the world's leading technology companies, realising the potential of artificial intelligence in healthcare but doing it in an ethical way," he said.

"The last company that I built reached a market cap of $890 million – this company has the potential to be significantly bigger than that."

Sensyne appointed Swingland after previous chairman Professor Sir John Bell stepped down to avoid any potential conflicts of interest with his role advising UK government.