As the world responds to COVID-19, speed, and collaboration in clinical research has never been more important. Our collective race to understand and discover treatments for this threat to society offers unprecedented opportunities to improve the field of medical research.
Paris, New York, May [7th], 2020 - Owkin, a company creating the new frontier for collaborative medical research, announced today a $25M funding round led by Bpifrance Large Venture, with co-investments from Cathay Innovation and MACSF (French Pension Fund for Clinicians), joining renowned investors such as GV, F-Prime Capital and Eight Roads.
Owkin is connecting the world's best data scientists, clinicians, academic researchers and pharma like never before in an artificial lab, to unveil medical discoveries (biomarkers, mechanisms, models of prediction) for better drug development and commercialization. All in a privacy-preserving platform powered by cutting-edge technologies in federated learning, multimodal and interpretable AI applied on the most exceptional, research-grade datasets curated by the best physician researchers in the world.
Laurent Higueret, Investment Director at Bpifrance Large Venture, who is joining Owkin’s Board of Directors, states: “Through this investment, we are especially proud to back a new leader in artificial intelligence, with a global roadmap, and an impressive management team and investors pool. This round also confirms Bpifrance investment ambitions in deeptech and biotech.”
Thomas Clozel, Owkin co-founder and CEO, adds: “This commitment from Large Venture is the steppingstone of a long-terme collaboration between Bpifrance and Owkin, powered by a shared vision to develop technologies to improve patients’ outcomes.”
Owkin scientists believe that achieving the most accurate view of patient treatment requires collaboration that is both inclusive and secure. To that end, Owkin is assembling a global research network powered by federated learning, a framework for AI model development that enables to train ML models on distributed data at scale across the very best academic medical institutions in the world without centralizing the data.
Through decentralized ML and AI, Owkin enables researchers to draw insights from millions of patients’ multimodal data points, while keeping patient data local – preserved safely within the hospital’s local security infrastructure. Owkin proprietary platform, Owkin Studio, integrates these biomedical images, genomics, and clinical data to discover biomarkers and mechanisms associated with diseases and treatment outcomes that will propel the next generation of drugs.
The result: an acceleration of the clinical research process that offers protected data for patients, exhaustive traceability of computations for institutions, maximum collaboration for researchers, and predictive power for data scientists.
Jacky Abitbol, Partner at Cathay Innovation, says: “Since we first backed Owkin in 2017, we have been sharing its vision to apply AI to fighting one of the most dreadful diseases on hearth: cancer. Owkin has risen to become a leader in digital health, we are proud to grow our investment in the company to fuel its ambition to pioneer AI for medical research, while preserving patient-privacy and data security.”
Stanislas Subra, Head of Venture Capital at MACSF, explains: “In only a few years, Owkin has managed to build a platform fueled by state-of-the-art privacy-preserving AI technologies to empower researchers in academia and pharma. We are delighted to fund its growth.”
To fight today’s covid-19 pandemic, Owkin launched the Covid-19 Open AI Consortium (COAI), leveraging Owkin’s platform and technologies, with the aim of advancing collaborative research and accelerating clinical development of effective treatments for patients infected with the coronavirus. Following Owkin collaborative philosophy; COAI unites academic institutions, researchers, data scientists and industrial partners to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. All of its findings will be shared with the global medical and scientific community. The first live research area explores cardiovascular complications in Covid-19 patients in collaboration with Capacity Covid, an international registry working with over 50 centers worldwide. Other planned areas of research include patient outcomes and triage, prediction and characterization of immune response.
About Bpifrance Large Venture Fund
Large Venture is a €1.3 Billion venture capital fund, part of Bpifrance - the Public Investment Bank of France. Large Venture invests in fast-growing, capital intensive and highly promising startups looking to finance organic or external growth and having already raised capital. The team focuses on healthcare or green technology investment opportunities. For more information, please visit www.bpifrance.fr, follow @Bpifrance @BpifrancePresse on Twitter, or contact Laure Schlagdenhauffen firstname.lastname@example.org
About Cathay Innovation
Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital fund, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital Private Equity. It was founded around the shared conviction that supporting digital entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform bridging 3 continents, North America, Europe and China, constitutes a particularly powerful value-creation strategy. As a multi-stage fund, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs, committed to driving change through technology. For more information, please visit www.cathayinnovation.com, follow @Cathayinnov on Twitter, or contact Yoann Besse Yoann.Besse@citigatedewerogerson.com
About MACSF (Mutuelle d’Assurance du Corps de Santé Français)
MACSF has been the first pension fund for clinicians and medical professionals in France for over 80 years. Employing more than 1,500 specialists and generating more than €2 Billions in revenues. For more information, please visit www.macsf.fr/groupe, or contact Severine Sollier email@example.com
The French-American startup, which was co-founded in 2016 by Dr. Thomas Clozel, a clinical research doctor and former assistant professor in clinical hematology and Gilles Wainrib, PhD, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence in biology, has raised $55 million in venture capital. It provides AI technologies to several of the largest health medical centers and pharmaceutical companies in Europe and in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.owkin.com, follow @OWKINscience on Twitter, contact Anna Huyghues-Despointes: firstname.lastname@example.org