Investors just put $18 million into a GV-backed startup taking the opposite approach to healthcare data storage as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google

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Research startup Owkin just raised an additional $18 million from Mubadala Capital and existing investor Bpifrance, an investment bank.
Owkin’s platform helps researchers learn from each other’s data without actually sharing patient information, according to the company.
It’s being used to solve coronavirus mysteries and runs counter to storage solutions offered by giant tech firms like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
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Owkin, a startup that uses technology to aid research between health systems and drugmakers, just raised an additional $18 million.

The new funding comes from Mubadala Capital, the investment arm of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, and existing investor Bpifrance, a French investment bank. It comes just a month after the New York-based startup said it had raised an additional $25 million round in May.

The $18 million announced in June and $25 million announced in May are both extensions of Owkin’s Series A financing, which the company initially raised in 2018. To date, Owkin has raised $73 million from investors including Alphabet’s GV and F-Prime Capital, the company told Business Insider.

Owkin plans to use the new capital to expand geographically into additional countries such as Germany and countries in the Middle East. The company’s also facing increased interest from scientists around the world looking to better understand and treat coronavirus patients, cofounder and CEO Dr. Thomas Clozel told Business Insider.

Read more: Startups taking new approaches to clinical trials have netted $1.6 billion from investors. Meet the top 10 upstarts trying to bring drug research into the 21st century.

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A different way to share health data

Owkin’s “federated,” or decentralized, approach to machine learning allows people from different institutions to learn from each other’s data without actually sharing it, Clozel said.

Instead of passing datasets around or uploading them to a shared source online, the algorithm — or the math-based procedure that scientists can use to solve medical problems, in this case — travels from site to site, picking up insights along the way.

For instance, Owkin’s helped researchers from Portugal, France, Spain, and the Netherlands figure out which coronavirus patients become critical or not based partially on CT scans, according to a pre-print of the study provided to BI.


The researchers looked at 1,003 patients and used Owkin’s software to comb through images, doctors’ notes, and other variables to build predictive models without pulling …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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