Sanofi invests $180 million equity in Owkin’s artificial intelligence and federated learning to advance oncology pipeline
- Combined efforts will work to build robust disease models while preserving privacy of large data sets from various research institutions and hospitals
- Collaboration to focus on four types of cancer
PARIS – November 18, 2021 – Sanofi announced today an equity investment of $180 million and a new strategic collaboration with Owkin comprised of discovery and development programmes in four exclusive types of cancer, with a total payment of $90 million for three years plus additional research milestone-based payments. Owkin, an artificial intelligence (AI) and precision medicine company, builds best-in-class predictive biomedical AI models and robust data sets. With the ambition to optimize clinical trial design and detect predictive biomarkers for diseases and treatment outcomes, this collaboration will support Sanofi’s growing oncology portfolio in core areas such as lung cancer, breast cancer and multiple myeloma.
To accelerate medical research with AI in a privacy-preserving way, Owkin has assembled a global research network powered by federated learning, which allows data scientists to securely connect to decentralized, multi-party data sets and train AI models without having to pool data. This approach will complement Sanofi’s emerging strength in oncology, as the company’s scientists apply cutting-edge technology platforms to design potentially life-transforming medicines for cancer patients worldwide.
“Owkin’s unique methodology, which applies AI on patient data from partnerships with multiple academic medical centers, supports our ambition to leverage data in innovative ways in R&D,” said Arnaud Robert, Executive Vice President, Chief Digital Officer, Sanofi. “We are striving to advance precision medicine to the next level and to discover innovative treatment methods with the greatest benefits for patients.”
Sanofi will leverage the comprehensive Owkin Platform, in order to find new biomarkers and therapeutic targets, building prognostic models, and predicting response to treatment from multimodal patient data. Sanofi’s investment will support Owkin’s development and goal to grow the world’s leading histology and genomic cancer database from top oncology centers.
“Owkin’s mission is to improve patient’s lives by using our platform to discover and develop the right treatment for every patient,” said Thomas Clozel, M.D., Co-Founder and CEO at Owkin. “We believe that the future of precision medicine lies in technologies that can unlock insights from the vast amount of patient data in hospitals and research centers in a privacy-preserving and secure way. This landmark partnership with Sanofi will see federated learning used to create research collaborations at a truly unprecedented scale. The future of AI to transform how we develop treatments is incredibly bright, and we are proud to partner with Sanofi on this mission.”
This collaboration agreement will allow Sanofi to work closely with Owkin in identifying new oncology treatments across four cancers.
“We look forward to working with our colleagues at Owkin to analyze data from hundreds of thousands of patients,” said John Reed, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Research and Development, Sanofi. “Sanofi’s investment in the company includes a three-year agreement that will help discover and develop new treatments for non-small cell lung cancer, triple negative breast cancer, mesothelioma and multiple myeloma. This partnership will help accelerate our ambitious oncology program as we advance a rich pipeline of medicines to address unmet patient needs.”
Owkin is a French American startup that specializes in AI and federated learning for medical research. It was co-founded in 2016 by Dr Thomas Clozel M.D., a clinical research doctor and former assistant professor in clinical hematology, and Dr Gilles Wainrib, Ph.D., a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence in biology. Owkin has recently published groundbreaking research at the frontier of AI and medicine in Nature Medicine, Nature Communications and Hepatology. The Owkin Platform connects life science companies with world-class academic researchers and hospitals to share deep medical insights for drug discovery and development. Using federated learning and breakthrough collaborative AI technology, Owkin enables its partners to unlock siloed datasets while protecting patient privacy and securing proprietary data. Through sharing high-value insights, the company powers unprecedented collaboration to improve patient outcomes. Owkin works with the most prominent cancer centers and pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the US. Key achievements to date include HealthChain and MELLODDY; two Owkin led federated learning consortia fuelling unprecedented collaboration in academic research and drug discovery, respectively. For more information, please visit Owkin.com and follow @OWKINscience on Twitter.
Sanofi is dedicated to supporting people through their health challenges. We are a global biopharmaceutical company focused on human health. We prevent illness with vaccines, provide innovative treatments to fight pain and ease suffering. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term chronic conditions. With more than 100,000 people in 100 countries, Sanofi is transforming scientific innovation into healthcare solutions around the globe.
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Published at Thu, 18 Nov 2021 06:38:59 +0000
The aim of the inquiry is to investigate the effectiveness of digital regulation, building on the Committee’s previous report Regulating in a digital world, which was published in March 2019.
In ‘Regulating in a digital world’, the Committee found that regulators had failed to keep pace with advances in digital technologies. There are over a dozen regulators with a remit covering the digital world and this fragmentation has led to both gaps and overlaps in regulation. New regulation was too often driven by responding to newspaper headlines rather than strategic thinking.
Lord Gilbert of Panteg, chair of the committee, said: “Visiting Cambridge and Audio Analytic today provided a fascinating insight into emerging technologies and their uses. It will be very useful for our work on digital regulation, on which we will produce a report next month.”
Dr Chris Mitchell, CEO and Founder of Audio Analytic talked about the company and its sound recognition technology, and discussed their best practice approach to data collection and management. Audio Analytic has built Alexandria™, the world’s largest audio dataset for machine learning with over 30 million labelled recordings, across 1,000 classes and featuring 400 million metadata points.
There was also a tour of the company’s Sound Labs which include a large semi-anechoic chamber and a fully anechoic chamber. These chambers are designed to absorb reflections of sound and insulate from external noise sources, acting like a green screen for audio recording, which is essential for data collection and augmentation.
Dr Mitchell said: “Machine learning is heavily dependent on data. It needs to be realistic, relevant and diverse in order to build reliable AI systems but in order to avoid the serious legal and reputational risks involved, the data you collect and manage has to be sourced correctly.”
“Regulators around the world are starting to ask questions about where data comes from and how it is used for AI systems. As the global regulatory landscape around data evolves, I expect that regulators will demand traceability and transparency, which is what we are prepared for. We were delighted to host the House of Lords committee and to talk about data and artificial intelligence and how we’ve managed to build large datasets that comply with regulatory requirements.”
In April 2021, Audio Analytic published a whitepaper on the subject of audio data management for machine learning, which highlighted the issues and set out a number of principles which the company follow. To download it visit: https://www.audioanalytic.com/be-careful-about-how-you-get-that-data-set-ai-industry-warned-by-us-federal-trade-commission/
The House of Lords Communications and Digtial Select Committee also visited Microsoft Research, Myrtle.ai and Invenia Labs as part of their inquiry.
Notes on inquiry
Official announcement (7th September 2021) detailing new inquiry, background and objectives: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/1409/digital-regulation/news/157334/new-inquiry-into-digital-regulation-launched/
About Audio Analytic
Audio Analytic is on a mission to create exceptional human experiences through a greater sense of hearing. This empowers machines with the ability to react to the world around us, helping satisfy our entertainment, safety, security, wellbeing, convenience, and communication needs across a huge range of consumer products.
Audio Analytic’s ai3™ and ai3-nano™ compact software platforms are suitable for embedding into a wide range of products from smart speakers and video doorbells, to smartphones and wearables. They have been licensed to some of the world’s most prominent consumer technology companies and bring accurate and robust sound recognition to many products available today.
Audio Analytic have produced a number of whitepapers and resports on the risks and responsibilities of audio data rights management and you can gain access to them for free by following the links below.
Published at Thu, 18 Nov 2021 06:04:24 +0000