Scientific research platform dev Code Ocean raises $16.5m.

The Code Ocean digital lab provides a consistent and secure environment to automate research in the cloud and guarantee fully reproducible research across scientific disciplines.

 Code Ocean's team (photo credit: VERED ADIR)
Code Ocean's team
(photo credit: VERED ADIR)

Research technology developer Code Ocean has raised $16.5 million in Series B funding co-led by Battery Ventures and M12, Microsoft’s Venture Fund. The company is developing a computational-research laboratory platform for scientific collaboration and discovery offered as a Software as a Service (SaaS) product.

The Code Ocean digital lab provides a consistent and secure environment to automate research in the cloud and guarantee fully reproducible research across scientific disciplines.

“Billions of dollars have been invested by the venture community over the past decade to make the development side of R&D more efficient, leaving researchers, or the ‘R’ side of R&D, starving for a computing platform and tools to make their jobs equally efficient,” said Battery Ventures general partner and a Code Ocean board director Scott Tobin. “Code Ocean’s SaaS platform is now the one place where research comes together in a trusted, virtual laboratory space.”

Code Ocean’s digital lab hinges on its so-called “compute capsule,” a container technology that encapsulates a reproducible, archivable and executable version of an experiment, while allowing for easy migration of code and data across platforms.

By automating the functions of open-source technologies like Docker, Git repositories and Nextflow, the digital lab presents an easy-to-use, automated lab environment to guarantee that researchers can reproduce, reuse and share computational experiments. The unique capability of the capsule allows the entire function of the computational experiment to be preserved and re-used in current and future research years into the future.

 A technician works in a laboratory at SpacePharma’s research and development site in Herzliya. (credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS) A technician works in a laboratory at SpacePharma’s research and development site in Herzliya. (credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Capsules, datasets and results become scientific assets that are managed in a secure, searchable repository. Code Ocean’s cloud-based environment gives IT the capability to monitor and manage access to any computing resource and storage. The Code Ocean platform is completely language agnostic and incorporates cloud workstations for RStudio, Jupyter, Terminal, MATLAB, Shiny and more.

Code Ocean co-founder and CEO Simon Adar said, “A consistent, automated virtual lab is absolutely critical to today’s digital age of science. Computing has given us vastly expanded speed and, simultaneously, dramatically increased complexity. To advance computational science at a faster pace, access to high performance computing for scientists must be simplified to maximize secure, seamless collaboration and speed discoveries to market.”

Adar added, “Our platform solves the barrier of complexity by providing a digital lab that allows the scientist to focus on science. With greater science productivity, advances in healthcare, including the rapid development of personalized medicine, we will ultimately provide improved healthcare outcomes in the years ahead. Code Ocean is THE hub of sharable scientific knowledge across disciplines.”

Indeed, Code Ocean’s platform is being used in a variety of scientific fields, such as biology, chemistry, genomics, emerging areas of computational science and biopharma. The company’s platform is already used by biopharma companies such as Lantern, Sema4, Champions Oncology, CytoReason and Dragonfly Therapeutics.

Lantern Pharma president and CEO Panna Sharma said, “Our scientists, researchers, and data engineers needed a world class environment to create reproducible science in a highly secure and collaborative environment. Code Ocean’s digital lab has been an ideal environment for our scientists and engineers to design and scale our proprietary AI for drug discovery since it allows them to develop, document and share ideas faster and more efficiently.”