DGAP-News: Evotec AG / Key word(s): Miscellaneous
07.01.2019 / 14:11
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Hamburg, Germany, 07 January 2019: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, MDAX/TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) announced today an additional investment of approximately $ 6 m towards Exscientia’s latest funding round (Series B). Exscientia, the world-leading Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company, has raised $ 26 m in a Series B financing round. Celgene Corporation and GT Healthcare Capital Partners joined as new investors and Evotec, previously the only large external investor, fully participated in this round.
The company will use the proceeds of this financing round to grow its “full stack” AI drug discovery capability and to expand its pipeline, with a target of establishing an expansive portfolio of projects, both in-house and with partners.
“Exscientia and Evotec have been partners since early 2016 to advance novel small molecules and bispecific small molecules in immuno-oncology. The excellent progress of this partnership, and the great recent industry validations of our initial investment, are the basis of the expanded and deepened corporate relationship and investment,” said Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec.
Professor Andrew Hopkins, CEO and founder of Exscientia, commented: “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(TM) 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.”
Dr Craig Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec added: “We are very pleased to continue to participate in the growth of Exscientia. This investment is another indicator of our commitment to the development of cutting-edge technologies, including the application of machine learning and artificial intelligence to improve predictive power in drug discovery science.”
Exscientia has made considerable progress during 2018 and anticipates its first IND-ready programmes, driven by AI, in the next 12 months.
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.
Exscientia has its headquarters in Oxford, UK with offices in the UK, USA and Japan.
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