Bioptimus launches with $35M to create an AI foundation model for biology

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French startup Bioptimus, which aims to create an AI foundation model for biology to drive research and innovation, announced its launch with $35 million in seed funding. 

Sofinnova Partners led the round with support from Bpifrance Large Venture and Frst and multistage VC Cathay Innovation. 

Hummingbird, Headline, Owkin, NJF Capital, Top Harvest Capital, and tech entrepreneur Xavier Niel also participated in the round. 

WHAT IT DOES

Bioptimus is building an AI foundation model merging biology (from molecules to cells, tissues and whole organisms) with generative AI to stoke scientific breakthroughs and innovation in biomedicine.  

Former scientists from Google DeepMind and French artificial intelligence company Owkin founded the Paris-based company.

It will use Owkin’s data generation capabilities, access to multimodal patient data from academic hospitals globally, and a computing environment from Amazon Web Services.

“The application of foundation models and generative AI to biology is set to have a profound impact in science,” Dr. Jean-Philippe Vert, cofounder and CEO of Bioptimus, chief research and development officer of Owkin and former research lead at Google Brain, said in a statement. 

“By harnessing the power of foundation models and advanced algorithms trained on massive amounts of biological and multimodal data across scales, we aim to capture the laws of biology that have hitherto remained too complex to be properly understood. This holistic understanding of biology across scales will be critical to accelerate biomedical and environmental science.” 

MARKET SNAPSHOT

GenAI is increasingly being used in the life sciences sector by companies such as Absci, a startup focused on developing generative AI antibody discovery technology; German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim and tech giant IBM; California-based AI drug discovery startup Genesis; and Philadelphia-based AI-enabled biotech company Vivodyne.

Israel-based AION Labs, an AI-enabled drug discovery partnership between global pharma and tech companies, has also announced the launch of its several AI-powered drug discovery startups, including DenovAI and TenAces.

“Improving Immunization Data Quality Through EHR and Public Health Collaboration” is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12, 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET in Room W311E at HIMSS24 in Orlando. Learn more and register.



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