Owkin is an AI biotechnology company on a mission to find the right treatment for every patient. By understanding complex biology through AI, we identify new treatments, de-risk and accelerate clinical trials and build diagnostic tools.
We use federated data access to unlock valuable insights from patient data while protecting patient privacy and securing proprietary data. We integrate the best of human and artificial intelligence to answer the research questions challenging biopharma and academic researchers.
Owkin was co-founded by Thomas Clozel MD, a former assistant professor in clinical onco-hematology, and Gilles Wainrib, a pioneer in the field of machine learning in biology, in 2016. Owkin has raised over $300 million and became a unicorn through investments from leading biopharma companies (Sanofi and BMS) and venture funds (Fidelity, GV and BPI, among others).
Owkin is a French-American AI startup with offices in Paris, Nantes, New York, Boston, London, Basel and Germany.
Owkin was co-founded by Thomas Clozel MD, a clinical research doctor and former assistant professor in clinical hematology, and Gilles Wainrib, a pioneer in the field of machine learning in biology, in 2016.
Owkin was founded with the belief that the future of precision medicine is in technologies that are able to unlock insights from the vast amount of patient data in hospitals and research centers in a privacy-preserving and secure way.
Beyond our cutting-edge technologies, our strongest belief is in the power of collective intelligence. We foster a global community of top cancer physicians and researchers and focus on improving our fundamental understanding of disease mechanics.
We now collaborate with dozens of leading academic, research and life sciences institutions worldwide. Our platform is being used extensively for R&D, either through internal R&D or through biopharma-partnered programs, to discover and develop better treatments in eight cancer types. On the clinical applications side, our collaborative work produces diagnostic solutions.
Owkin’s team is now 150 strong, with world-leading expertise across machine learning, federated learning and biology. Our Scientific Advisory Board consists of the world's best specialists in numerous disease areas. We have published research at the frontier of AI and medicine in Nature Medicine, Nature Communications and Hepatology, among other leading journals. To date, we have received more than $255 million in investment and now work with the most prominent cancer centers and biopharma companies in Europe and the US.
The Owkin difference is threefold – 1. consisting of the best interdisciplinary team, 2. having access to single-cell molecular data at scale, and 3. leading in three key technologies: integrative AI, histogenomic data, and causal inference.
Owkin is differentiated by a focus on improving our fundamental understanding of disease mechanics, not just using AI for AI’s sake. We aim to improve the way we treat and diagnose diseases by using the latest technologies to advance fundamental scientific knowledge.
We also believe that the future of precision medicine is in technologies that are able to unlock insights from the vast amount of patient data in hospitals and research centers in a privacy-preserving and secure way.
By developing a cutting-edge federated learning framework while simultaneously building the world’s biggest and best network of hospitals, KOLs and high-quality, multimodal datasets, we are focused on making long-term, transformative improvements to medical research and drug development.
Federated learning is a novel machine learning framework that enables the training of high-quality models on data distributed over several independent centres. Instead of gathering the data on a single central server, the data remains locked on their server and the algorithms and predictive models travel between them.
At Owkin, we use federated learning as a platform to connect biopharma companies and hospitals. Federated learning is also used by data scientists, medical experts, data managers from different organizations to collaboratively train predictive models.
Owkin's founding mission is to improve medical research in a way that protects data privacy and security.
We develop state-of-the-art transfer and federated learning technologies to overcome the data sharing challenge. This allows us to create collective intelligence from distributed data at scale, while preserving data privacy and security.
Through our federated learning software, patient data is never shared – only the algorithm travels. Through our unique technology, including advanced permission management and traceability features, Owkin Connect is a fully-GDPR and HIPAA compliant solution for running data science projects on anonymised or pseudonymized patient data.
Owkin is ISO27001:2013 certified and is committed to the protection of customer information in accordance with global security requirements, as well as with applicable legal and regulatory frameworks.
Substra is genuinely production ready - it is the only FL framework to be used on real healthcare data, proven in real production environments (federating pharmaceutical companies or hospitals). It is highly flexible compared to other frameworks; for example, Substra is fully data agnostic, ML model agnostic and ML framework agnostic.
Owkin has raised over $255 million from leading venture capital funds and corporate investors.
At its creation in 2016, Owkin raised a $2.1 million Seed Round from angel investors, including NJF Capital.
In May 2018, Owkin completed a $16 million Series A round. The Series A was led by Otium Venture with participation from Cathay Innovation, GV (formerly called Google Ventures), NJF Capital and Plug and Play.
In March 2019, Owkin completed a Series A-2 round led by F-Prime Capital and Eight Roads Ventures.
In May 2020, Owkin announced the closing of $25 million in funding. This new round was led by Bpifrance Large Ventures, with co-investments from Cathay Innovation, MACSF (French Pension Fund for Clinicians) and Plug and Play.
In June 2020, Owkin closed an additional $18.5 million in investment from Mubadala Capital and Bpifrance, bringing the Series A-3 total to over $43.5 million.
In November of 2021, Owkin became a ‘unicorn’ – a startup valued at more than $1 billion – through a new $180 million investment from Sanofi. Alongside the investment, Owkin and Sanofi also announced a strategic multi-year research collaboration to co-develop new cancer treatments.