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Ozette – an AI-Powered Immune Monitoring Platform

AUTHORS: Chris Picardo and Matt McIlwain | February 16, 2021

We are excited to unveil our investment in Ozette Technologies today. Ozette resulted from the marriage of many years of science and software development work performed at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the AI tutorship of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2). Their goal is nothing short of helping to discover new disease treatments based on an AI-aided understanding of the immune system. Speaking with founding teams like Ozette’s inspires us and supports our belief that this intersection of innovation, where biology and computer sciences come together, will change and save lives.

Ozette is an immune monitoring and analytics platform that enables academics, researchers and pharma companies to understand the immune system with incredible clarity. This clarity enables new biomarkers to be discovered, treatments to be selected, and ultimately, the development of novel drug therapies to fight disease. To do so, Ozette ingests high dimensional single cell data (used to identify specific cell types) and offers scientists an extremely precise view of the entirety of the sample’s cell population.  Unlike traditional analysis techniques which require lengthy hand annotation and only identify a small number of sub-types (while missing the majority of cells), Ozette’s proprietary AI platform rapidly identifies all of the true cell types in a sample, offering unprecedented detail and accuracy. Ozette cuts down months of manual analysis to days or less and provides scientists with a view never seen before. The opportunities resulting from their platform – and the application of AI to single cell analysis and immune profiling – are endless and can potentially help reshape drug discovery.

Developed in the Gottardo lab at the Fred Hutch by Scientific Founder Raphael Gottardo, Chief Technology Officer Greg Finak, and VP of Data Science Evan Greene– recognized leaders in single-cell analysis – Ozette’s core analytics infrastructure has been proven over the last 10 years of research and is widely used by the community in its open source form called Cytoverse. Raphael and Greg teamed up with CEO Dr. Ali Ansary, an EIR at AI2, to build a scalable platform commercialization and industry partnerships. At Madrona we love backing strong technical teams with domain expertise and there is no better example than the founders of. They are truly leaders in their field and we are extremely excited about what they will build.

This is the 5th company Madrona has funded out of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence program that is supporting the application of artificial intelligence technologies across different disciplines.

Both applied AI – AI applied to data and processes – and this intersection of innovation are key themes for our investing now and in the coming years.

We are excited to work with this team and support their growth in the coming years.

Madrona led the $6million seed investment in Ozette with participation from Vulcan.

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