Owkin to improve bile duct cancer treatment through new innovation partnership

Owkin and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center partnership
A collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center will use AI to improve aggressive bile duct cancer treatment

November 5th 2021, New York

Artificial intelligence is to be used to improve the treatment of some of the most aggressive forms of bile duct cancer, as French-American AI startup Owkin announces a new research collaboration with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Innovation Hub.

Cancer that develops in the bile ducts within the liver, known as intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, is often only diagnosed at an advanced stage. As a result, median survival is approximately 7 months following diagnosis. Innovative treatment can double survival time, but it has historically been difficult to identify which patients would benefit from the treatment.

To help improve these statistics, Owkin and MSK are collaborating to use machine learning to detect candidates for this treatment at a much earlier stage. Owkin will train deep learning models using de-identified data from MSK patients in order to predict the prognosis of cholangiocarcinoma and discover biomarkers of treatment response. 

This will allow clinicians to better target treatments and drastically improve survival times for bile duct cancer, which is diagnosed in 8,000 Americans each year. This application of AI on multiple data modalities also serves as a proof of concept for how to discover novel prognostic and treatment biomarkers in other less common cancers.

Owkin and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center partnership

The collaboration will leverage Owkin’s pioneering AI technologies with MSK’s high-quality, extensive de-identified patient data and world-class research. It will be delivered as part of the MSK Innovation Hub, a program that blends health tech innovators like Owkin and MSK experts with the goal to speed up the development of innovations that have the potential to make a meaningful impact in the lives of people with cancer.

“We’re excited to help MSK improve the treatment of some of the most aggressive forms of cancer. The richness and uniqueness of its research cohorts, together with Owkin’s extensive expertise in developing predictive AI models, will pave the way for forward-thinking science. We are thrilled to initiate this collaborative project with the MSK Innovation Hub.”

Meriem Sefta Ph.D., Chief Data and Clinical Solutions Officer at Owkin

I am excited to be part of this cutting-edge research collaboration that will have a positive impact on how clinicians evaluate and treat patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, and potentially other cancers, as well.”

William R. Jarnigan MD, FACS, Chief of the MSK Hepatopancreatobiliary Service

About Owkin:

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 sciences 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 has raised over $75M from leading VC funds and is now working with the most prominent cancer centers and pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the US.