Recursion Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies

06:00 EST 20 Feb 2019 | Businesswire


Recursion, a clinical-stage biotechnology company that combines artificial intelligence (AI), experimental biology, and automation to discover and develop drugs at scale, has been named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2019. The list honors the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s volatile world. Founded in 2013, Recursion is an industry leader in applying AI to drug discovery and has created an innovative culture that brings together data science, engineering and drug discovery teams. The company has already achieved partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies such as Sanofi and Takeda and has advanced two programs into clinical development.

“Our ability to innovate is directly tied to the strength of our interdisciplinary teams. We’ve been able to bring together engineers, biologists, data scientists, and chemists to build the most advanced drug discovery teams in the industry,” said Chris Gibson, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Recursion. “They are working side-by-side to reimagine the drug discovery process from start to finish and they continue to find potential medicines for dozens of human conditions.”

Recursion has captured the attention of the biopharma industry with its unique approach to AI-enabled drug discovery. The company has built an unparalleled, high-dimensional dataset, designed for machine learning (ML), with over 1.5 petabytes of biological images. It generates this data through the “industrialization” of discovery biology, using robotics and automation to run hundreds of thousands of experiments each week, testing myriad biological perturbations on a range of disease models in real human cells (everything from monogenic loss-of-function conditions to complex inflammatory diseases). Recursion then captures and analyzes the subtle cellular changes that take place through a proprietary computer vision and data analysis stack that includes neural networks.

“We’re capturing more than two million cellular images every week across human genetics, immunology, inflammation, and other areas to create a high-resolution map of human biology,” said Ron Alfa, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Translational Discovery and Chief Evangelist. “This map can help us significantly increase the speed and decrease the cost of discovery biology, which is great for our partners and for our own internal therapeutic programs.”

The World’s Most Innovative Companies is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy. Fast Company’sMost Innovative Companies issue (March-April 2019) is now available online at, as well as in app form via iTunes and on newsstands beginning February 27th. The hashtag is #fcmostinnovative.

About Recursion

Recursion is a clinical-stage biotechnology company combining experimental biology and automation with artificial intelligence in a massively parallel system to efficiently discover potential drugs for diverse indications, including genetic disease, inflammation, immunology, and infectious disease. Recursion applies causative perturbations to human cells to generate disease models and associated biological image data. Recursion’s rich, relatable database of more than a petabyte of biological images generated in-house on the company’s robotics platform enables advanced machine learning approaches to reveal drug candidates, mechanisms of action, and potential toxicity, with the eventual goal of decoding biology and advancing new therapeutics to radically improve lives. Recursion is headquartered in Salt Lake City. Learn more at, or connect on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Jessica Yingling, Ph.D.
Little Dog Communications Inc.


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