Parisian AI biotech unicorn Owkin has brought in $80 million as it partners with the US-based pharmaceutical giant Bristol Myers Squibb on drugs trials. The new partnership could be transformational for patient outcomes and scientific progress, making machine learning solutions an integral part of the clinical trial process.
The $80 million will be split between a Series B-1 equity round, led by Bristol Myers Squibb, and up-front fees for clinical trials for cardiovascular drugs using Owkin's technology. The fresh funding brings the company’s total raised to over $300 million.
Owkin will use the investment to support its data generation strategy in multiple therapeutic areas with a strong focus on multimodal and rich biological data, including the most advanced spatial single-cell omics technologies.
The startup had partnered with pharmaceutical giant Sanofi last year. The partnership brought an investment of $180 million for Owkin to make it to the unicorn club.
Founded in 2016, the startup aims to bring new drugs to the market faster via more precise and effective trials. It allows doctors, medical researchers, and pharmaceutical companies to identify new drug candidates, and enhance clinical trials while drawing on health data from usually siloed sources such as hospitals across the U.S. and Europe.
Gilles Wainrib, co-founder and chief scientific officer at Owkin, said: “Our collaboration will see cutting-edge machine learning methods used to maximise opportunities for patients to benefit from the latest treatments as quickly and safely as possible. We are excited to start this collaboration with Bristol Myers Squibb, a global leader in cardiovascular with a strong development pipeline which has the potential to change the lives of millions of patients.”
Venkat Sethuraman, senior vice president of global biometrics and data sciences at Bristol Myers Squibb added: “We look forward to collaborating with Owkin to extend our applications of AI and machine learning to enhance our discovery and development programs with high-quality, diverse data from clinical and real world sources. In particular, cardiovascular disease is an area of significant unmet need, and where we have the opportunity to use technology in new ways to further accelerate potential breakthroughs for patients who are waiting.”