$6.1M Investment in AI Platform Targets New Treatments

Lindsey Shapiro, PhD avatar

by Lindsey Shapiro, PhD |

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AI platform | Parkinson's News Today | OccamzRazor | illustration of money tree

OccamzRazor has received $6.1 million in investments to support its artificial intelligence (AI)- based platform aimed at accelerating the identification of new therapeutic targets for Parkinson’s disease.

With the technology, which uses AI to analyze data from many published sources, novel treatment targets can be identified and initially validated in a matter of months, rather than years  — all at a lower cost, according to the company.

“I’m excited to see the progress OccamzRazor has made thus far on integrating many disparate sources of data and applying machine learning towards the discovery of new candidates for fighting degenerative brain diseases,”  Jeff Dean, PhD, lead investor and the lead of Google’s AI division, said in a press release.

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This round of financing was led by Dean, who was joined by other investors including re.Mind Capital, and Valor Equity Partners, to generate the $6.1 million.

Despite a greater availability of data about Parkinson’s disease in recent years, no curative treatment for Parkinson’s has been developed.

“What stops us from converting that data into actionable insights for treatment options? The human capacity to cut through the vast data repositories and draw the right connections is limited. OccamzRazor is solving this problem,” the company states on its website.

Using machine learning — a form of AI — OccamzRazor can analyze large biomedical datasets, and use the information to identify potential new treatment candidates and patient subsets who might benefit from them.

Developed in collaboration with scientists at Stanford University in California, the algorithm combines three of the company’s patented technologies: graph machine learning (RazorBrain), graph prediction (Razor Link), and natural language processing (Razor Panorama).

Insights gained from the AI platform can be used to speed preclinical studies for promising candidates.

“We are currently in the middle of an exponential increase in biomedical datasets that can offer new perspectives on neurodegeneration. Hidden within this data are the insights needed to develop the right therapies for the right patient populations — the data just needs to be connected in the right way, with the right AI built to interpret it,”  said Katharina Sophia Volz, PhD, CEO and co-founder of OccamzRazor.

The New York-based company has raised a total of $12 million from sources, including the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, to support the project. OccamzRazor ultimately plans to use the AI-based approach to identify treatments for other brain diseases.

Recently, Iktos, another AI company based in France, also announced plans to use its own AI technology to screen for new therapeutic candidates for Parkinson’s disease.