The COVID-19 Open AI Consortium or COAI by OWKIN

The France-American, venture capital-based startup OWKIN introduced the COVID-19 Open AI Consortium (COAI) seeking to bring breakthrough medical discoveries and actionable findings to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In the global public health crisis that has ensured, healthcare systems and clinicians have been overwhelmed by the number of patients and lack of reliable methodologies to assess disease evolution to improve patient treatment and anticipate bottlenecks in the healthcare systems. COAI anticipates that AI models, built on clinical records, radiology, laboratory and demographic data, can help researchers better predict prognosis, response to treatment, adverse events, public health risks, and other challenging research questions. A brief introduction to this interesting group and an interview with Principal Investigator Professor Folkert Asselbergs.

Who is OWKIN?

OWKIN was co-founded in 2016 by Thomas Clozel, MD a clinical research doctor and former assistant professor in clinical hematology and Gilles Wainrib, PhD, a pioneer in the field of Artificial Intelligence in biology. OWKIN has raised over $40 million from top-tier VC funds and is now offering its AI technologies to several prominent cancer centers and pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the United States.

The venture seeks to empower researchers in hospitals, universities, and pharmaceutical companies to:

·         Understand why drug efficacy varies from patient to patient

·         Enhance the drug development process

·         Identify the best drug for the right to improve treatment outcomes

Some recent projects include Mesothelioma research with Centre Léon Bérard published in Nature Magazine to bring breakthrough medical discoveries and actionable findings to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. They tout that their scientists are the best in the world with severe Kaggle Masters, DREAM Challenge top performers, and publications in Nature Medicine, ICML, NIPS, and other top scientific journals. Owkin is backed by renowned investors—such as F-Prime Capital & Eight Roads Ventures, Cathay Innovation, and NJF Capital—not to mention a distinguished scientific board.

Professor Folkert Asselbergs Interview discussing COAI

Recently, Principal Investigator Professor Folkert Asselbergs, professor of precision medicine in cardiovascular disease at Institute of Cardiovascular Science, UCL, Director NIHR BRC Clinical Research Informatics Unit at UCLA, a professor of cardiovascular genetics, and consultant cardiologist at the department of Cardiology, University of Medical Center Utrecht, and chief scientific officer of the Durrer Center for Cardiovascular Research, Netherlands Heart Institute, has published more than 275 scientific papers and obtained funding from leDucq foundation, British and Dutch Heart Foundation, EU (FP7, ERA-CVD, IMI, BBMRI ) and ROI National Institutes of Health.

In the Unite.AI interview, Professor Asselbergs delves more into the effort centering on the registry involving 88 centers across 17 countries having registered the COVID-19 AI Consortium or the CAPACITY COVID-19 registry. Follow the link for the interview.

Call to Action: For more information about this interesting initiative, see the link.