Abree Murch AVG Blog August 3, 2020

Deep Tech Investment Announcement: Unlearn.AI

Learn how our second Deep Tech Fund investment accelerates clinical trials by using artificial intelligence



Deep Tech Investment Announcement: Unlearn.AI

August 3, 2020 | Abree Murch

We’re pleased to announce that our Deep Tech Fund has made a second investment: Unlearn.AI. 

AVG’s Deep Tech Fund invests in ventures that are focusing on valuable deep tech solutions. Likely target sectors include AI/machine learning, blockchain/distributed ledger, robotics, VR/AR/MR, genomics, advanced materials, longevity, and others.

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Virtual Twins for Clinical Trials

Unlearn.AI develops machine learning platforms to create biological digital twins for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. These digital twins combine physical, physiological, and genetic information with machine learning models to create a virtual representation of an individual. The twins are used in clinical trials to augment and — perhaps, in the future, replace — control groups, especially in instances when not enough patients can be recruited.

 

 

Unlearn sets itself apart by using digital twins in clinical trials for non-oncological chronic diseases, carving out a distinct niche with few competitors, if any. Initially, they are targeting Alzheimer’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. Their pipeline includes Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Type 1 Diabetes, Huntington’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

 

The Unlearn.AI Team and Deal

Unlearn’s Series A was led by 8VC, a fresh check. The firm invests in sectors where data is transformational to the enterprise and computation and AI can make a meaningful impact. Previous investors DCVC and Mubadala Ventures also participated, investing their full pro-rata allocations. Castor Ventures (AVG’s fund for MIT alums and friends) led the deal for AVG. Unlearn’s CEO and Co-Founder Charles Fisher is a post-doc MIT graduate.

 

What We Liked About the Deal

  • Market opportunity. Given that 20% of clinical trials fail because researchers can’t recruit enough patients, particularly in the control group, Unlearn has a clear value proposition and market opportunity.
  • Validated technology. Unlearn’s platform has been validated with an Alzheimer’s case study, and they are in the process of signing a contract for a Phase III Alzheimer’s study.
  • Competitive advantage. Unlearn has established a unique space for itself by using digital twins in non-oncological clinical trials. Most companies using digital twins operate in the oncology space, though not in clinical trials per se. Competitors who act as external control arms for clinical trials mainly use human patients.
  • Expanding use cases. Unlearn’s platform can be used beyond clinical trials for predictive, preventative, and personalized medicine.

 

 

AVG’s Deep Tech Fund invests in a venture portfolio of ~20-30 diverse companies tackling the toughest and potentially most lucrative tech challenges. The events of 2020 have underscored the critical importance of committing to and investing in science and rational thought for the well-being of society and the planet.

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