Exscientia – the world-leading Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company – today announces it has raised US$26 million in a Series B financing round. This will be used to scale the company’s pipeline and advance selected programmes towards clinical development. The round included participation from new investors Celgene Corporation and specialist healthcare investor GT Healthcare Capital Partners, as well as existing investor Evotec AG.
Alan Au, Managing Partner of GT Healthcare Capital Partners, commented: "We are very excited to back Exscientia and partner with a world-class team to further extend its business, including in Asia. We have a shared vision to revolutionize traditional drug development processes and believe Exscientia’s unique capabilities have the potential to deliver well beyond cost-effectiveness and speed, to first-in-class and best-in-class drugs that benefit patients in the near future.”
Dr Rupert Vessey, President of Research and Early Development at Celgene, said: “Exscientia has demonstrated that AI in molecular design is here today. With the global pharmaceutical industry acknowledging the importance of incorporating AI-driven R&D approaches into their drug discovery processes, we see a huge growth opportunity ahead. We believe Exscientia is set to become a global leader in AI-driven drug discovery and are excited to participate in this investment round.”
Professor Andrew Hopkins, CEO and founder of Exscientia, said: “This Series B marks a milestone in our development and enables us to drive the next phase of strong business growth. Over the past 12 months we have substantially expanded our operations and capabilities to become a full stack AI drug discovery company. Furthermore, our unique Centaur Chemist™ platform allows us to move rapidly from idea generation to new drug molecules ready for IND and clinical development. With this new funding Exscientia is positioned to become the dominant player in AI drug discovery, driving radical change in R&D productivity. We are excited Celgene and GT Healthcare have joined with existing investor Evotec on this exciting journey.”
The company has made considerable progress during 2018 and anticipates its first programmes driven by AI to be IND-ready within the next 12 months. The speed and capital efficiency demonstrated by Exscientia is already revolutionising the economics of small molecule discovery and in the future, this improved throughput will deliver benefits to patients.
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, said: “We continue to be very impressed with the progress Exscientia has made over the past year. Through our partnership with Exscientia we have seen first-hand evidence that they can deliver the most productive drug discovery engine in the industry. This latest funding will allow Exscientia to apply its platform at scale, taking advantage of the efficiencies that its AI-driven systems provide.”
Exscientia will use the proceeds of this financing round to grow its “full stack” AI drug discovery capability to dramatically expand its pipeline, with a target of establishing an expansive portfolio of projects, both in-house and with partners by the end of 2019.
Alex Snow, Executive Chairman of Exscientia, said: “Exscientia has validated its technology by delivering multiple pre-clinical drug candidates with unprecedented efficiency. Exscientia’s platform has the potential to bring a generation of new medicines to the market by offering a technologically and financially superior approach to drug discovery that will benefit of patients. I am personally very excited to be part of Exscientia’s next stage of development, and to have the backing of such prestigious investors.”
Exscientia were advised by Rothschild & Co on this transaction.