June 20, 2024
Cure51 raises a €15M Seed round aiming to crack the code on cancer survival

Rather than grimly assembling data about cancer deaths to predict outcomes in treatment, the founders of Cure51 had another idea. They decided to turn the model around 180 degrees. Instead, the company assembles data about long term survivors of cancer, thus hoping to crack the code on what keeps people alive. It’s now raised a €15 million Seed round led by Paris-based Sofinnova Partners. Other investors in this round included: Hitachi Ventures GmbH, Life Extension Ventures, Xavier Niel, and Olivier Pomel, CEO, and co-founder of Datadog.

The startup will now use the money to build a ‘cohort’ of data to work out why certain cancer patients survive for a long time, even with highly aggressive forms of the disease.

Cure51 was founded in March 2022 by Nicolas Wolikow and Simon Istolainen. Both had previously worked in five well-known oncology centers, such as the Gustave Roussy Institute in Paris and the Vall d’Hebronin Barcelona.

Wolikow told me: “There a plenty of companies licensing oncology databases, but their databases don’t include survivors, and don’t present such a multi-omics granularity (single cell & spatial) and they lack ethnic diversity.”

He also claims companies like Flat Iron (Roche), Market Scan (IBM), Iqvia offer “simple databases with clinical data and sparse genomic data.” But molecular databases “at multi-omics levels are required for drug discovery,” he said.

In a statement Simon Turner, Partner at Sofinnova Partners commented: “Looking at ‘mechanisms of exceptional survival’ is not a new concept, but Cure51 has taken this to a whole new level in terms of the scale of the endeavor, plus leveraging the latest in analytical techniques.”

The tech industry has increasingly turned its guns on cancer in recent years.

Alphabet recently announced a number of initiatives to deploy AI models in the health care industry. One will be a tool that will help Fitbit users get insights from their devices and a partnership to improve screenings for cancer and disease in India.

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