OXFORD, England, January 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ --
New Investors Celgene Corporation and GT Healthcare Capital Partners join Series A Investor Evotec
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.
Exscientia is at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery and design. By fusing the power of AI with the discovery experience of seasoned drug hunters, Exscientia is the first company to automate drug design, surpassing conventional approaches.
Exscientia's innovative Centaur Chemist™ platform enables breakthrough productivity gains as well as new approaches to improve drug efficacy. Novel compounds are automatically designed and prioritised for synthesis by its AI systems, which rapidly evolve compounds towards the desired candidate criteria for clinical development.
Exscientia systems learn from both existing data resources and experimental data from each design cycle. The principle is similar to how a human would learn, but the AI process is far more effective at identifying and assimilating multiple subtle and complex trends to balance potency, selectivity and pharmacokinetic criteria.
As a result, the AI-driven process is more likely to achieve the end goal and to do this more rapidly and efficiently than traditional human endeavour.
Exscientia is collaborating with several leading pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, including GSK, Sanofi, Roche and Evotec.
Celgene Corporation, headquartered in Summit, New Jersey, is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company engaged primarily in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer and inflammatory diseases through next-generation solutions in protein homeostasis, immuno-oncology, epigenetics, immunology and neuro-inflammation.
For more information, please visit www.celgene.com.
Follow Celgene on Social Media: @Celgene, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube.
Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide, and our more than 2,400 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry's need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute). The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases and fibrosis. On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others.
For additional information please go to www.evotec.com and follow us on Twitter @EvotecAG.
About GT Healthcare Capital Partners
GT Healthcare Capital Partners ("GT") is an Asian based private investment partnership that specialises in fundamentally-driven life science investments around the globe that aim to change technology landscapes.
GT Healthcare strives to help our partners explore and extend their businesses to the Asian and Chinese markets. http://www.gthcap.com/