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Pioneering AI drug discovery platform to raise up to US$525m

Exscientia, a clinical stage pharmatech company using AI to design patient-based drugs, announced that it has completed a US$225m funding round; with further backing to come.

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Exscientia uses AI across its platform from target identification through drug design and patient selection in order to precision engineer new medicines.

The firm has advanced the first two fully AI-designed drugs into clinical trials and now has over 20 active programs in its pipeline.

Funding from the Series D round will be used to advance Exscientia’s proprietary pipeline through clinical testing as well as to continue expanding the technology platform toward autonomous drug design.

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the raise and was joined by previous round lead investors, Novo Holdings and funds managed by Blackrock.

Other investors included Mubadala Investment Company, Farallon Capital, Casdin Capital, GT Healthcare Capital, Marshall Wace, Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Laurion Capital, Hongkou and Bristol Myers Squibb.

SoftBank is providing an additional US$300m equity commitment that can be drawn at the Company’s discretion.

Exscientia uses AI across its platform from target identification through drug design and patient selection in order to precision engineer new medicines.

The company has advanced the first two fully AI-designed drugs into clinical trials and now has over 20 active programs in its pipeline.

Funding from the Series D round will be used to advance Exscientia’s proprietary pipeline through clinical testing as well as to continue expanding the technology platform toward autonomous drug design.

Eric Chen, managing partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers, said: “We believe Exscientia’s innovative use of AI to discover and design better quality drugs with greater efficiency has the potential to create important medicines faster than ever before.

“With the convergence of technology and biology, drug discovery is rapidly evolving in ways that will reshape the industry.

“The Exscientia team have been leaders in AI-based drug discovery since the field’s inception and we believe they will continue shaping its future.”

Exscientia has built a range of AI and “experimental technologies” to capture and to precision design drugs for “multiparameter optimisation”.

Its platform evaluates the target and mechanism through high content phenomics, novel biophysics and deep learning from biological data.

That information is then translated into the design of precision drugs through proprietary AI algorithms driven by thousands of models.

By remaking the process of drug discovery, Exscientia is also able to reset industry standards for productivity.

To date, it has been able to advance seven precision designed drugs from project initiation to development candidate in an average time of 12 months.

Andrew Hopkins, CEO of Exscientia said: “All of our investors share Exscientia’s vision to discover better drugs, faster, through AI and automation. Our patient-first AI platform has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to precision design drugs that address patients’ needs.

“With the Series D completed, the quality and depth of our shareholder base allows us the freedom to continue to scale both our platform and pipeline.”

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