Oxford-based Exscientia uses AI to accelerate delivery of new treatments; gets €3.44M from Gates Foundation



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Oxford-based leading pharmatech company Exscientia deploys Artificial Intelligence to drive drug discovery. It is claimed to be a pioneer in using AI to design a novel molecule to enter the clinic. Now, this company has raised funding to identify new targets and leads for a slew of ailments such as malaria, tuberculosis, and non-hormonal contraception.

Investment from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

In a recent development, Exscientia announced that it has received $4.2M (nearly €3.44M) grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With this investment, the pharmatech company will apply its AI-driven Cetaur platforms to the discovery of the new generation of therapeutic targets and leads.

Andrew Hopkins, CEO of Exscientia, says, “Through our investments in Centaur Biologist, we can now qualify targets objectively, at genome-scale. Similarly, our Centaur Chemist platform can tackle a range of challenges, in particular the design of bispecific small molecules that can deliver an improved response through dual-targeting, by assessing thousands of possible target combinations.”

New partnership to treat infectious diseases

By entering into this partnership, Exscientia will be able to use its Centaur Biologist platform to apply domain-specific implementations of knowledge graph and deep learning algorithms to biological data. The platform prioritises opportunities ranging from existing under-appreciated targets to complex new dual-target opportunities. This is where Centaur Chemist can be applied to evolve novel bispecific small molecules.

By applying both Centaur systems at genome-scale, the funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will promote innovative treatments for infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria. Also, it will let the pharmatech company come up with new medicines for family planning, which will control maternal and infant mortality.

About Exscientia

Founded in 2012, Exscientia has its headquarters in Oxford, England and operates from offices in Dundee, Scotland, the USA , and Japan.  It claims that its Centaur Chemist platform enables breakthrough productivity gains and new approaches to improve drug design. It automatically designs and prioritises novel compounds with its AI systems, which rapidly evolve compounds towards the desired candidate criteria for clinical development. 

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Exscientia’s Centaur Biologist platform drives the flexible analysis and prioritisation of discovery targets across all pharmaceutically relevant disease space. By collaborating with several leading pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, Exscientia builds its own portfolio of innovative medicines.


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