Bioptimus: Pioneering LLMs in Biotechnology

by Dana Sokolova    Contributor        News

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Executives from the French AI drug discovery company Owkin have embarked on a new venture, launching Bioptimus, a startup dedicated to developing a large-language model (LLM) specifically for biotechnology. This initiative marks a significant leap in the application of LLM technology, commonly associated with platforms like ChatGPT, to the field of biotech.

Bioptimus, in its seed funding round, aimed to secure €20 million and has reportedly exceeded this target. The exact amount remains undisclosed pending the completion of the fundraising round. Spearheading the company is Jean-Philippe Vert, Owkin's Chief R&D Officer and former Google researcher. Joining him are senior Owkin executives David Cahané and Eric Durand. Notably, Owkin is also listed as a signatory in Bioptimus' registration documents, and both companies share the same Paris headquarters.

 

The Role of LLMs in Biotechnology

LLMs, recognized for their ability to mimic human language and generate new content, are poised to revolutionize biotech. These models are trained on extensive datasets, enabling them to handle tasks that range from simulating organism growth to drug reactions. Bioptimus plans to harness this technology to transform complex multiscale data into actionable representations, thereby accelerating breakthrough discoveries in biology.

The fundamental advantage of LLMs lies in their capacity to process diverse data types in a simplified manner, which is a limitation in traditional AI models. Bioptimus envisions its LLM as an enhancement tool for existing AI technologies, like Owkin's predictive AI model, making them more efficient and accurate by simplifying complex biomedical data.

Initially focusing on pharmaceutical applications, Bioptimus' LLM could extend its utility to other sectors such as foodtech and cosmetics. The startup is strategically positioned to leverage Owkin’s vast repositories of high-quality patient data sourced from its partnerships with academic medical centers. This access to comprehensive data sets provides Bioptimus with a competitive edge in training its model.

Owkin, with a history of successful partnerships with global pharmaceutical giants like Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb, uses predictive AI to optimize drug effects on various patient groups. The integration of Bioptimus' LLM could further enhance these efforts, making drug discovery more rapid and cost-effective.

Topics: Biotech Companies   

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