April 3, 2019

Exscientia achieves molecule discovery milestone as part of GSK collaboration

Oxford, UK

Exscientia, a world-leading Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company – announces today that it has delivered a highly potent in vivo active lead molecule, targeting a novel pathway for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). By delivering the candidate, it has reached the first major milestone in its AI-drug discovery collaboration with GSK.

  • First selective and potent in vivo active lead molecule to be delivered under Exscientia’s AI collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), targeting a key pathway for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • In vivo active lead milestone discovered with 5 cycles and only 85 compounds tested.

COPD is a progressive lung disease that is thought to affect around 384 million people worldwide. The burden of COPD is considerable, both socially and economically, where there is an urgent and unmet medical need for new and more effective treatment options.

The molecule was developed through the application of Exscientia’s Centaur Chemist™ AI-driven automated drug discovery platform. This approach has delivered a lead molecule with fewer compounds synthesised in comparison to conventional industry benchmarks. The in vivo lead was identified de novo from 85 project compounds and was synthesised and tested within five iterative design and screening cycles.

Andy Bell, Chief Research Officer of Exscientia, said: “Our AI platform and approach have advanced significantly over the past few years and have been constantly refined and optimised through real-world projects for our pharma partners. With the productivity improvements we are now seeing, we believe that our Centaur ChemistTM approach is proving itself to be the industry’s leading AI-drug discovery platform by achieving far superior results to what conventional discovery techniques have historically delivered.”

Exscientia entered a strategic AI-drug discovery collaboration with GSK, with the aim of combining its AI enabled platform with GSK’s long-standing expertise to accelerate the discovery of quality new molecules. Exscientia is learning from the wealth of biological and chemistry data resources to drive its AI algorithms to design novel molecules with exacting product criteria as the objectives.

Exscientia’s approach has already proved itself by delivering pre-clinical drug candidate molecules in roughly one-quarter of the time, and at one-quarter of the cost of traditional approaches, within partnerships with a variety of major pharmaceutical companies.

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