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Pioneering AI Drug Discovery Company Signs £33 Million Deal With GSK

Brian Baglow


Exscientia Team

Dundee-based Exscientia, a pioneer in the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to discover new drugs, has signed a strategic partnership with pharmacy giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) worth up to £33 million.

The deal will enable Exscientia to combined its AI-enabled platform, combined with the GSK’s experience and expertise to discover novel and selective small molecules for up to 10 disease-related targets, nominated by GSK, across multiple therapeutic areas.

In addition to research funding, Exscientia is eligible to receive near-term lead and pre-clinical candidate milestones. If all milestones are achieved, Exscientia will receive up to £33 million.

Andrew Hopkins Exscientia CEOAndrew Hopkins, CEO of Exscientia, said: “This agreement with GSK is the second we have signed in recent months with a top global pharma company. The alliance provides further validation of our AI-driven platform and its potential to accelerate the discovery of novel, high-quality drug candidates. Applying our approach to client discovery projects has already delivered candidate-quality molecules in roughly one-quarter of the time, and at one-quarter of the cost of traditional approaches. Our intention therefore is to apply these capabilities to projects selected by GSK. Delivering efficiencies to drug discovery has the potential to revolutionise the way early projects are executed, enabling more dynamic target selections from the burgeoning set of opportunities. We look forward to a productive collaboration with GSK.”

John Baldoni, Senior Vice President, Platform Science and Technology at GSK, added: “Exscientia has built an excellent team with proven innovation in drug discovery technologies. We anticipate that their industry-leading approach will accelerate the discovery of new molecules against high value GSK targets with speed and confidence, and without compromising quality.”

Exscientia will apply its pioneering big data resources, which includes medicinal chemistry and large-scale bio-assays, along with its AI-driven algorithms to design novel molecules that fulfil GSK’s requirements for lead and candidate criteria.

While advances in AI and big data have already had a significant impact in a number of fields, they have not yet changed the early stages of drug discovery. To address this, Exscientia will strive to reduce the number of compounds required for synthesis and assay in order to achieve the lead and candidate compound goals.

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Brian Baglow


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