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MaRS Catalyst Fund invests in InVivo AI to improve the efficacy of drugs coming to market using machine learning

April 2, 2019 By: MaRS News Desk

InVivo AI, a Montreal-based startup using machine learning to improve the generation, screening, and optimization of new medications, has announced a pre-seed financing with MaRS Catalyst Fund, Real Ventures, Panache Ventures, and Brightspark Ventures, among others.

Founded in 2018 by Daniel Cohen, Therence Bois, Prudencio Tossou, and Sebastien Giguere, InVivo is developing novel algorithms to enable low data drug discovery, aiming to remove access to data as the principal roadblock when deploying accurate machine learning in pharmaceutical R&D.

Although they are still actively developing their core technology, the company is already working closely with a number of Canada’s leading research institutions to pilot and validate their computational tools, with an initial focus on cancer and rare diseases.

Quick facts:

  • Developing a single new drug can cost up to $2 billion
  • The average time required to develop a drug is between 10-15 years
  • Computational tools like machine learning have the potential to significantly reduce the time and costs needed to bring new medications to patients

“Pharmaceutical companies recognize the impact machine learning can have on their R&D efforts and are eager to integrate these tools into their workflows”, says Daniel Cohen, CEO, “but many of the traditional deep learning approaches being used today are extremely data hungry and ill-suited to the constraints of drug development. What if we could develop new computational tools, entirely novel algorithms and architectures, that are optimized for the particular set of constraints under which new drugs are developed?”

“Bringing a new drug to market is an arduous and expensive process that can take up to 10 years and cost up to $2 billion. InVivo introduces an exciting new machine learning approach to make drug trials faster, more efficient and safer; the potential impact on general public health is substantial.” Kathryn Wortsman, Fund Manager, MaRS Catalyst Fund

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