AI-based cancer immunotherapy startup Noetik raises $14M

Steven Loeb · September 7, 2023 · Short URL:

The company has generated hundreds of terabytes of human data in less than a year

When it comes to developing precision therapeutics in immuno-oncology, the biggest bottleneck is clinical failure, with an ever-growing discovery funnel. 

That's where Noetik comes in: the company us addressing these challenges by building a multimodal tissue profiling platform, one that combines self-supervised learning with spatial biology. 

"Our team is generating a huge amount of human data, including genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics," Ron Alfa, M.D., Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Noetik, explained to VatorNews. 

"Using machine learning, Noetik can discover the circuit diagram of tumor biology to unlock the next generation of precision oncology for end-to-end therapeutics discovery."

On Thursday, the company announced an oversubscribed $14 million seed financing round led by DCVC, with participation from Zetta Venture Partners, 11.2 Capital, Catalio Capital Management, Epic Ventures, Intermountain Ventures, North South Ventures, Chau Khuong and CJNV BioVentures, Enveda Founder and CEO, Viswa Colluru and Hummingbird Nomads Fund, and Recursion CEO & CFO, Chris Gibson and Michael Secora.

The San Francisco-based company is developing foundation models for cell and tissue biology based on actual human tumor samples, and it utilizing transformer-based machine learning methods to extract insights from their data. In less than an year of operations, Noetik has already generated hundreds of terabytes of human data across a data stack that includes genomics, transcriptomics, and proteomics.

That will enable the development of foundation models for cell and tissue biology, said Alfa.

"At Noetik, we are embracing natural complexity in biology to discover more relevant representations of cancer biology. Our approach is distinct in its focus on self-supervised learning, data generation, and the integration of various molecular and cellular data types to understand cancer biology comprehensively," he explained. 

The company's primary users/customers are researchers, pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the field of cancer immunotherapy, though he couldn't reveal how many customers Noetik has currently.

The plan now that the company has this new funding it to use it to collect and analyze more patient data to enhance its understanding of cancer biology. It will also continue its development of transformer-based machine learning methods, and also expand its team in machine learning, computational biology, and cancer immunology.

"Noetik's ultimate goal is to discover better precision immunotherapies for cancer treatment. Success to us would be developing cancer immunotherapies that have a higher clinical success rate," said Alfa. 

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