MetaMedical™ Solutions Inc

AI startup Bioptimus launches with $35m seed funding  

France-based artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Bioptimus has launched with $35m seed funding in its pocket to build a foundational model for biology. 

The funding round is co-led by Sofinnova Partners and Bpifrance, with additional investors Headline, Hummingbird, NJF Capital, Owkin, Top Harvest, French VCs Cathay Investments, Frst Capital, and tech entrepreneur Xavier Niel.  

Bioptimus are developing a foundational model (FM) for biology, aiming to create a universal computational model that creates contextual representations of biological entities that interact with each other. 

FMs are computational representations of fundamental biological processes used to stimulate and study complex phenomena such as gene regulation, protein folding, and population dynamics. These models aim to aid in understanding biological processes, drug discovery, systems biology, personalised medicine, and evolutionary biology. 

Bioptimus has detailed that it will start by sourcing large datasets utilising expertise from biotech company Owkin, followed by leveraging MOSAIC, the $50m initiative that unites academic centres and industry partners to create large spatial transcriptomics and multimodal datasets in oncology. The startup will also have access to Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

According to a report on GlobalData’s Medical Intelligence Center, the AI market will be worth $323bn in 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.6% from $81.8bn in 2022. 

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By GlobalData

Earlier this year, NVIDIA teamed up with Amgen to build generative AI models that can analyse extensive human datasets for drug targets and biomarker discovery, facilitating diagnostics for disease progression and regression. 

At the 2024 J P Morgan healthcare conference in San Francisco, Mayo Clinic announced that it is teaming up with AI startup Cerebras System to develop a foundation model. 

In November 2023, health2047 portfolio company HOPPR introduced its multimodal foundation model, called Grace, for medical imaging. HOPPR built its foundation model specifically on AWS using Amazon SageMaker. 

In the announcement accompanying the launch, Bioptimus CEO Jean-Philippe Vert said: “The application of foundation models and generative AI to biology is set to have a profound impact in science.  

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.” 

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