team news

June 3, 2021

Exscientia appoints Joanne Xu, experienced Asian market investor, to Board of Directors

·      Joanne Xu is a Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers with more than 20 years of investing and consulting experience in Asia

·      Fatou Bintou Sagnang, a Partner with Mubadala, is also joining as a Board Observer

03 June, 2021, OXFORD, UK – Exscientia the clinical stage, Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven pharmatech company, has appointed Joanne Xu to its Board of Directors. Joanne is a Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, manager of Vision Fund 1 and 2.  As one of the world’s largest tech funds, the SoftBank Vision Funds see to accelerate the AI revolution through investment in market-leading, tech enabled growth companies.  In addition to her industry knowledge, Joanne will advise the company on its investment strategy and expansion into Asia.  

Joanne has more than 20 years of experience in investing and consulting in China and Japan. Prior to SoftBank Investment Advisers, she served as a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs leading principal investments in both Greater China and Australia. Joanne has also held various positions at Booz Allen Hamilton and Sharp Corporation.  Her investments at Softbank Investment Advisers focus on using AI and technology to modernise industries and she sits on the Board of Xtalpi, XAG and EDDA Technology.  Joanne holds a Master’s degree from Harvard Business School and Waseda University as well as a Bachelor’s from Nanjing University.

Andrew Hopkins, CEO of Exscientia said, “Joanne brings to our Board both a sophisticated perspective on tech-enablement as well as deep experience in a critical region for our business.  Asia is a hub of pharmaceutical companies, services and talent, where we already have many great partners.  As Exscientia continues its global expansion, Joanne’s insights will help us achieve the same level of innovation and growth we have achieved in other regions.”

Joanne added, “Exscientia’s innovative use of AI is rapidly reshaping the way drugs are discovered and developed. We are delighted to support their ambition to expand into new markets in Asia and beyond.”

In addition to Joanne’s appointment, Fatou Bintou Sagnang from Mubadala Capital will also be joining as a Board Observer.  Fatou is a Partner at Mubadala Capital Ventures, the venture capital arm of the Abu Dhabi based investment company with over $232 bn in assets under management. Fatou focuses on investments in high-growth companies across Europe in the technology enabled healthcare and enterprise sectors, as well as playing a key role in managing Mubadala’s fund-of-fund programme. Having started her career at McKinsey and Co, she then took on senior positions at biotechnology company Zymergen. Fatou holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor’s in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University.

Fatou commented, “Exscientia shows the strength and potential of UK-led innovation to have global impact. We are excited to partner with the company on its journey to becoming a new industry champion.”


About Exscientia

Exscientia is an AI-driven pharmatech company committed to discovering and designing the best possible medicines in the fastest and most effective manner. Exscientia is the first company to progress AI-designed small molecules into the clinical setting and repeatedly demonstrate the ability of AI to transform how drugs are created. Exscientia’s AI platform has now designed two drugs that are in Phase 1 human clinical trials.

Drug design is precision engineering at the molecular scale. Exscientia has built dedicated AI systems that efficiently learn from the widest range of data and consistently reapply enhanced knowledge through iterations of design. Because Exscientia’s AI platform learns more effectively and rapidly than human-led efforts alone, candidate molecules satisfying complex therapeutic requirements are created with revolutionary efficiency.  Exscientia believes that designing better drugs, faster, will allow the best ideas of science to rapidly become the best medicines for patients.

Exscientia has offices in Oxford, Miami, Osaka and Dundee.  For more information visit us on or follow us on Twitter @exscientiaAI.



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Nathan Field
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Stephanie Crisp
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For Exscientia
Mark Swindells

Exscientia’s innovative use of AI is rapidly reshaping the way drugs are discovered and developed.