12:00 AM
 | 
Jun 02, 2016
 |  BC Innovations  |  Strategy

Digital Preclinical

How Vium is automating data collection to overhaul in vivo research practices

After flying under the radar for the last three years, Vium Inc. is coming out of the shadows with a technology it thinks will change the face of in vivo testing. By bringing high tech to life sciences, Vium is developing a system of digital cages and informatics systems for an almost fully automated process of conducting animal studies that it claims is more reproducible, reliable and scalable than the industry standard.

The company was formed in 2013 as Mousera Inc., and since then has been working with a select group of beta partners to develop the platform. In the last two years, it closed $30 million in series A funding from Lux Capital, Founders Fund, Data Collective, Dolby Family Ventures and Ame Cloud Ventures.

In a press release issued today, Vium announced its name change, and disclosed the first details of its Digital Vivarium platform for data collection and analysis from animal models.

"We have been writing our patents, doing the technical work and building out our operational capabilities to get us to this point that we're ready to offer the services to the public," said co-founder and CEO Timothy Robertson.

Jeff Kindler, a venture partner at Lux Capital, former CEO of Pfizer Inc. and one of Vium's board members, told BioCentury the technology serves an important need in the industry, as issues with in vivotesting are causing an expensive bottleneck in drug development.

"Not only have we been spending too much and taking too much time in development and testing of animal models, but predictability and reliability also haven't been what they could be," said Kindler.

While there's been no shortage of innovation in the biology of animal models, there have been relatively few advances in the fundamental ways experiments are performed and the ways data are collected and analyzed.

"Most people would agree that how we perform animal studies is similar to what we've done for the past 50 years," said Annalisa Jenkins, CEO of Dimension Therapeutics Inc. and a board member at Vium.

She said the...

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