November 22, 2021
TYSONS, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Red Cell Partners (“Red Cell”), an investment and incubation firm that backs, builds, and scales technology-led companies in healthcare and defense, today announced the formation of Zephyr AI, Inc. (“Zephyr AI”).
Zephyr AI’s mission is to transform drug discovery, redefine personalized medicine, and empower healthcare systems to achieve better patient outcomes at lower cost. Zephyr AI integrates artificial intelligence with extensive datasets to upend traditional “guess and test” drug development and personalized medicine processes to unearth novel therapeutics, new applications for existing therapeutics, and advanced biomarkers for individualized treatments.
The company is co-founded by Dr. Yisroel Brumer, Zephyr AI Chief Executive Officer (formerly of the Office of the Secretary of Defense), Grant Verstandig, Zephyr AI Executive Chairman (Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer UnitedHealth Group; Chief Digital Officer UnitedHealth Group 2017-2021; Founder and former CEO of Rally Health), and Jeff Sherman, Zephyr AI Chief Technology Officer (former ML Architect at Rally Health).
“Integrating a massive array of datasets from our healthcare, pharmaceutical, and biotech partners coupled with our extraordinary team building truly revolutionary algorithms is what sets us apart,” said Zephyr AI CEO Yisroel Brumer. “We could not be more excited about the potential to transform targeted patient care and to drastically reduce healthcare and drug development costs.”
“We are in the early stages of understanding the extent of what can be uncovered by data science techniques,” said Executive Chairman Grant Verstandig. “Zephyr AI’s deep insights and enduring partnerships will enable us to uncover paradigm-shifting discoveries in healthcare.”
Zephyr AI’s founders are joined by an exceptional board of directors composed of internationally recognized leaders with expertise across biotechnology, healthcare delivery, health insurance, and government. Grant Verstandig (Executive Chairman) and Yisroel Brumer (CEO) are joined on the Board by Dr. Sol J. Barer (Co-founder & former CEO, Celgene Corporation); Dr. Jack Rowe (former CEO, Aetna); Ken Samet (President & CEO, MedStar Health); and Michael Cohen (Vice President of Investments at Lerner). The Board will work closely with Zephyr AI’s leadership and advise on all matters relating to the company’s growth, deployment of technology across industries, and the delivery of future technologies currently in development.
“While drug development has always used the best scientific processes available, those processes have been exceedingly slow, sapping hope from patients awaiting new treatments. Zephyr AI will take a targeted approach with their technologies to expedite discoveries,” said Zephyr AI Board member Jack Rowe. “The enthusiasm for what we are doing from the pharma, biotech, and payer sectors is significant. They understand that our model to advance precision medicine is the future of drug development.”
Reflecting on its strong value proposition, Zephyr AI is building industry partnerships to gather and maximally utilize an unprecedented array of data and develop machine-learning pipelines. This will drive discoveries that allow Zephyr AI to rescue orphan drugs, create new synergistic therapeutic combinations, and repurpose existing drugs for new uses.
Zephyr AI is additionally putting extensive effort into biomarker discovery to aid in optimal patient selection for existing and in-development therapeutics. This is intended to revitalize the current, outmoded clinical trial model through more efficient recruitment, using artificial intelligence insights to match patients to therapeutics based on their specific disease characteristics.
Moreover, the Company is pursuing the development of patient and healthcare provider tools to fully leverage the potential of precision medicine to enhance outcomes and reduce the cost of care.
Earlier this year, the Zephyr AI founders published two peer-reviewed articles about the company’s technology in the medical journal Oncogene. “These findings demonstrate that Zephyr AI can already identify novel-use cases for existing therapeutics in cancer,” said CTO Jeff Sherman. “The progress we’ve made in the months since publication is astounding. It’s a testament to our team at Zephyr AI and just a small sample of the groundbreaking progress on the horizon.”
About Zephyr AI, Inc.
Zephyr AI is a high-growth healthcare technology company committed to radically rebuilding drug discovery and precision medicine from the ground up. By harnessing the power of next-generation artificial intelligence and machine learning to sort through massive data sets, Zephyr AI empowers the healthcare system with the advanced analytical tools to redefine drug development, streamline clinical trials, and battle disease in ways that once were thought impossible—until today. At Zephyr AI, our mission-focused team of world-class software engineers and biologists integrates unprecedented datasets and leverages cutting-edge technology to derive transformational insights and build enduring partnerships that will revolutionize the treatment of cancer, diabetes and other diseases.
About Red Cell Partners
Red Cell is an incubation and investment platform creating rapidly scalable, technology-led companies that seeks to address the Nation’s most pressing challenges. Employing a flexible model, Red Cell directly incubates, invests in, and acquires companies with the potential to transform health care and defense through the application of technology. Currently investing shareholder capital, Red Cell supports leading growth companies throughout their lifecycles.
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Charles V. Zehren