SoftBank leads funding that could net up to $525M for Exscientia’s AI drug platform

Exscientia is reeling in up on AI-designed drugs

Oxford, U.K.-based Exscientia, AI drug platform
Oxford, U.K.-based Exscientia started out inking drug discovery deals with various biopharma companies and raised its first major round in 2020. (Getty Images)

So far, Exscientia has started phase 1 trials for two AI-designed drugs: a treatment for solid tumors developed through a joint venture with Evotec and a treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) partnered with Sumitomo Dainippon. The company’s other work spans oncology, inflammation and immunity, rare disease, psychiatry and anti-infectives, including a Gates Foundation-partnered program in COVID-19. 

In its early days, the company differentiated itself from other AI biotechs by using algorithms to come up with new molecules, rather than screen compounds or assist in the design process. 

The AI field has grown since then, with Exscientia’s peers raising massive rounds of late. Recursion scored a $239 million series D in September 2020 and a $436 million IPO seven months later, while insitro banked a $400 million series C in March this year. 

Additional: Exscientia Receives Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation

Reference: Fercebiotech

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