#NewAseBioMember | “AseBio is an important industry association in Spain, representing the interests of companies, associations, foundations and universities in the bioindustry”

Meet Owkin, our new member. We talked to its Francisco Miguel Torres, Partnerships Director, Southern Europe. 

Foto de Francisco Miguel Torres, Partnerships Director, Southern Europe de OWKIN

AseBio. What does your company's work bring to the table and what is its strength?

Francisco Miguel Torres. Primarily, cutting-edge AI capabilities. That is, Owkin develops predictive and interpretable models, validated by medical experts and trained with multimodal medical data. Thanks to the integration of clinical, imaging, omics data... We try to understand the causal links that connect particular patient characteristics with their prognosis, endotype, response to treatment, etc.

By understanding the complexity of biology through AI, Owkin identifies new treatments, reduces risk and accelerates clinical trials, and creates diagnostic tools that allow us to reduce the time and cost of patient management.

Owkin has access to up-to-date patient data and samples, as well as longitudinal data curated with principal investigators. This allows us to capture the full heterogeneity of the disease both temporally, clinically and molecularly. Thanks to this work, we contribute to enhancing the value of their knowledge. Our collaboration yields curated datasets, among other benefits, empowering these centers to seamlessly integrate them into their AI research and development efforts.

AseBio. What is AseBio for you?

Francisco Miguel Torres. For Owkin, AseBio is clearly an important industry association in Spain, representing the interests of companies, associations, foundations and universities in the bioindustry. Within this role, Owkin seeks in Asebio a platform to increase its footprint in the Spanish ecosystem, and a gateway to it, to be known and recognized as a relevant player in the industry.

AseBio. When did you first hear about AseBio?

Francisco Miguel Torres. Personally, I have known Asebio since I left the world of research. It is a preferential network within the Spanish biomedicine. I have participated in events, training and received the information it shares for years.
However, Owkin started working with AseBio when we began to operate seriously in Spain in September 2022. With my incorporation to Owkin, came our participation in Asebio. It was clear to us that it was one of the first steps to position ourselves in Spain.

AseBio. What do you expect from being part of an association like AseBio?

Francisco Miguel Torres. Owkin hopes that being part of an association like AseBio will help them to establish the company as a benchmark in the field of AI in Spain, as it is already in the US and the rest of Europe. It is a good platform, as I say, to make ourselves known in the country and to start being part of initiatives that are relevant to us.

With our membership we hope to give visibility to Owkin, integrate ourselves into the ecosystem and seek complicities with other players in the sector. The value of our activity (our AI models) is based on a multidisciplinary approach and at different levels. It brings together the efforts of clinicians, data scientists, project managers... coming from pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, CROs and universities.

AseBio. What is the biggest challenge facing the biotech sector (or your company)?

Francisco Miguel Torres. One of the biggest challenges facing the biotechnology industry, including of course Owkin, is the complexity of the subject matter we study and engage in professionally. As I mentioned earlier, "to address the immense complexity of biological systems, any previous approach without AI has proven to be insufficient." 

Therefore, harnessing the potential of AI is essential to address the extreme complexity of human physiology, gene regulation, tumor heterogeneity and other aspects of biology that we want to impact with therapies and diagnostics...However, in order to develop this potential, we still have to overcome technical, legal and strategic limitations... To name a few of the key points. Implementing AI in biomedicine is not just about generating code and training it anyway.