As it continues to branch out from the silicon world into the living one, the artificial intelligence-powered drug discovery company Recursion Pharmaceuticals has moved to acquire Vium, developer of digitally equipped vivariums for preclinical in vivo research.
Vium’s platform incorporates computer vision, machine learning and a host of sensor technologies to non-invasively observe mice undergoing the early stages of drug testing. This includes 24/7 monitoring of their motion, breathing rate and behavior, to spur the development of new digital biomarkers when evaluating potential therapeutics.
The acquisition supports the former FierceMedTech Fierce 15 winner’s plans to build out its capabilities in predicting pharmacological safety and effectiveness, after identifying promising compounds using AI—and following Recursion’s $121 million series C round last year, and the launch of its first clinical programs. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Technology is set to change the pace, scale and cost of drug discovery over the coming decades. At Recursion, we are building a vast machine to rapidly discover drugs through the integration of technology at every step in the process,” said co-founder and CEO Chris Gibson.
“Bringing the fantastic team at Vium in-house will enable us to build on our core technology and vision, augmenting our huge in vitro datasets with large, complementary in vivo datasets, and advancing our mission to decode biology to radically improve patient lives,” Gibson added.
Vium’s automated Smart Housing platform, which builds continuous datasets across multiple animal models of disease, has been used by at least five of the world’s top 10 drugmakers, according to the company.
“Recursion and Vium share a common vision that delivering better therapies to patients faster requires an industrialization of the drug discovery process,” said Vium CEO Laura Schaevitz. “We are transforming preclinical research through the creation of a scalable in vivo platform to collect continuous, high-quality datasets where traditionally researchers would have limited data available. We are excited to focus exclusively on building a large in vivo data set for Recursion’s digital biology platform, potentially enabling an even broader pipeline of medicines.”