Owkin announces multi-year strategic collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb

Owkin announces multi-year strategic collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb

On June 8, Owkin, a French-American start-up specializing in AI and federated learning applied to medical research, announced that it had entered into a multi-year strategic collaboration with pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb to apply its AI capabilities to clinical trial optimization. The collaboration will initially focus on accelerating the time-to-market for cardiovascular drugs, but may be extended to other therapeutic areas.

Owkin, based in the United States but with the majority of its team based in Paris, was co-founded in 2016 by Thomas Clozel, a clinical researcher and former assistant professor in clinical hematology, and Gilles Wainrib, a doctor in AI applied to biology.

To enable medical research to scale up through the use of artificial intelligence while maintaining privacy, Owkin has built a global research network based on federated learning. The network enables secure connection to decentralized multi-party datasets and the creation of artificial intelligence models without data pooling, thus solving the problem of patient privacy and data protection.

Thomas Clozel, CEO of Owkin said:

“Owkin’s mission is to improve patients’ lives and use its platform to discover and develop the right treatment for each patient. We believe that the future of precision medicine lies in technologies that identify and analyze information from the vast amounts of patient data held by hospitals and research centers, securely and without compromising their privacy.”

As a reminder, last November, Owkin partnered with Sanofi to fight lung cancer, breast cancer and multiple myeloma, with the latter investing $180 million in Owkin’s capital, taking it to unicorn status.

The Owkin – Bristol Myers Squibb collaboration

Bristol Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines for serious diseases. It has been collaborating with Owkin for several years to develop new biomarkers and optimize its clinical trials.

The goal of this new collaboration is to use AI to, among other things, optimize the selection of patient subgroups, better estimate the effect of treatments, and design external control arms in silico using data from top academic medical centers and state-of-the-art learning techniques. Venkat Sethuraman, Senior Vice President, Global Biometrics and Data Sciences, Bristol Myers Squibb, said:

“We look forward to collaborating with Owkin to expand our applications of AI and machine learning to enhance our discovery and development programs with high-quality, cross-sourced data, clinical and real-life data. In particular, cardiovascular disease is an area of significant unmet medical need where we have the opportunity to accelerate discovery for patients through technology.”

Under the terms of the agreement, Owkin will receive $80 million for upfront payment for clinical trials using its technology and the Series B-1 equity investment led by Bristol Myers Squibb. The startup may subsequently receive more than $100 million in additional funding upon the achievement of clinical trial milestones. Owkin said the equity investment will be used to support its ambitious strategy of generating patient data across multiple therapeutic areas, with a focus on rich, multi-modal biological data and using the most advanced single-cell spatial omics technologies. Gilles Wainrib, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Owkin, concludes:

“Our collaboration will use state-of-the-art machine learning methods to ensure that patients receive the latest treatments as quickly and safely as possible. We are excited to begin this collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb, a global leader in the cardiovascular field, which has strong development plans that could change the lives of millions of patients.”

Translated from Owkin annonce une collaboration stratégique pluri-annuelle avec Bristol Myers Squibb