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Owkin Joins MSK Innovation Hub to ID Bile Duct Cancer Biomarkers, Refine Treatment

NEW YORK – French-American health technology firm Owkin on Friday announced it is working with Memorial Sloan Kettering's Innovation Hub to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cholangiocarcinoma using machine learning approaches.

Owkin, located in New York and Paris, will train deep learning models based on de-identified data from MSK patients to predict prognosis and detect biomarkers of treatment response. The findings, the company hopes, will help oncologists identify the right targeted treatments for patients with bile duct cancer and improve survival times.

Approximately 8,000 patients are diagnosed with bile duct cancer in the US each year. Patients live for a median of seven months after being diagnosed, which usually happens when the cancer is in advanced stages.

Owkin sees this project with MSK as a proof of concept for how to discover prognostic and treatment biomarkers in less-common cancers.

Last year, Owkin demonstrated that its HE2RNA machine learning platform accurately predicted RNA-seq expression of tumors through visual biomarker detection on digitized histopathology images, without the need to sequence DNA.

The company has raised over $75 million in venture capital funds to date and has collaborations with cancer centers and pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the US.

"We're excited to help MSK improve the treatment of some of the most aggressive forms of cancer," Meriem Sefta, chief data and clinical solutions officer at Owkin, said in a statement. "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."

GNS Healthcare, InsightRX, and Blue Note Therapeutics are also collaborating with MSK's Innovation Hub.