Bioptimus Raises $35M Seed Funding to Build Biology Foundation Models

Bioptimus Raises $35M Seed Funding to Build Biology Foundation Models

French startup Bioptimus has emerged from stealth mode with $35 million in seed funding to develop artificial intelligence that could transform biological research.

Led by former Google research scientist Jean-Philippe Vert, Bioptimus aims to create the first “universal AI foundation model” for biology. This model would integrate different scales of biological data, from molecules to cells to tissues, to reveal new insights.

The seed round was led by European VC firm Sofinnova Partners, with additional investments from Bpifrance Large Venture, Cathay Innovation, and other firms.

Bioptimus’ mission is to accelerate innovation in biomedicine using the latest advancements in AI, specifically large language models.

Vert sees biology as the next frontier for this technology. “The application of foundation models and generative AI to biology is set to have a profound impact on science,” he said.

To realize this vision, Bioptimus has assembled a team of scientists from AI leaders like Google DeepMind and healthtech startup Owkin.

The startup also has access to extensive biological data resources thanks to partnerships with research hospitals and Owkin’s data platform. This combination of talent and data will fuel the development of AI on the cutting edge.

Sofinnova’s Edward Kliphuis notes Bioptimus’ potential to transform personalized medicine by better understanding patient uniqueness while also finding commonalities.

The AI models could unravel biological connections that underpin diseases, enable better clinical trial matching, and even help design entirely new therapeutics tailored to a person’s genetics.

Bpifrance’s Laurent Higueret sees Bioptimus’ promise to analyze patient data “across multiple levels” in new ways that lead to breakthroughs.

The $35 million funding round will fuel exponential growth. With its founding team’s pedigree, data access, and sophisticated algorithms, the startup may emerge as a leader in this high-potential space.

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