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From Artificial Intelligence and AI Scientists to Pharmaceutical Analytics – 2019 Catalyst Grant Winners

25th September 2019
 | Alex Jackson

BPT Analytics, Intoolab and MLprior, three projects aiming to disrupt the academic space, are the latest recipients of the Catalyst Grant award for innovative startups. The grant is our international initiative to develop innovative projects and technologies and we award up to £25,000 or $30,000 for concepts with the potential to transform scientific and academic research.

BPT Analytics is an online business intelligence tool for the pharmaceutical industry. The tool is built on top of an up-to-date database of life science companies, which tracks what they do and how they perform in the market. It follows the team’s already established and growing publishing platform, which features articles from leading pharma professionals and business leaders.

Co-founder Dr. Andrii Buvailo commented:

“While there is a plethora of large-scale business intelligence platforms on the market, the majority of them are too general for such a domain-specific market as drug discovery, so they can’t grasp important nuances, critical for decision making. BPT Analytics aims to eliminate as much guesswork from the practice of pharmaceutical industry strategists, business developers, and decision-makers, as is possible. By providing them with visualized access to systematic and constantly curated data about the most innovative industry players, trends, and opportunities.”

Intoolab is an artificial intelligence platform built for pharmaceutical companies and researchers. Its main feature, Tzager, an AI scientific tool which scours through millions of research papers, helps find causal connections and join the dots between papers that would otherwise take significant time. The tool has been developed in collaboration with a number of universities worldwide and a pilot has been completed at Aarhus University in Denmark.

CEO Nikos Tzagkarakis commented:

“The biggest problem in drug discovery is that there are millions of research papers with different information, but there are also millions of potential combinations of concepts that could solve specific problems. We are trying to solve the problem at its core by not just connecting information, but also creating an intelligence that understands the mechanics of ‘why’ things happen. The grant will enable us to develop our deep learning methods faster and also connects us with the valuable network of Digital Science. We are confident Tzager will become increasingly intelligent and we’re excited for the first time it will figure out an original solution in medicine and drug discovery.”

MLprior is a tool which uses AI-based analysis to predict whether a scientific paper will be accepted at a conference. The co-founders behind the product, Denis Volkhonskiy and Vladislav Ishimtsev, have both been actively researching AI with a focus on creating new models and algorithms at Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology for the past five years. They are joined by PhD students Nikita Klyuchnikov from Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and Pavel Shvechikov from Higher School of Economics, who make up the four-person team.

Denis Volkhonskiy commented:

“Our product simplifies and speeds up the process of writing scientific papers,” says Volkhonskiy. “We use artificial intelligence for analysing the text of the article and suggesting improvements. We hope to become a must-have service for each researcher. Researchers spend several months on polishing scientific papers from draft to publication, checking formulas and correcting mistakes – our tool will hopefully help save a lot of time.”

Steve Scott, Director of Portfolio Development at Digital Science said:

“Once again, we would like to thank the community of researchers and entrepreneurs for sharing their ideas and passion with us. The field for this round of the Catalyst Grant was brimming with great ideas and narrowing down the entries proved a real challenge. The three winners reflect our belief that AI and machine learning solutions will offer step-changes in the way we analyse and interact with data, whether that be for business intelligence, discovery or creation. We hope the grant, and our ongoing support, will help each of them achieve their next milestone.”