Exscientia, the world leading artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery company, today announced it has raised $60 million in a Series C financing round.
The financing round has been led by new investor Novo Holdings with existing investors – Evotec, Bristol Myers Squibb, and GT Healthcare Capital (through its LPs) – participating in the round. Robert Ghenchev, Senior Partner and Head of Novo Growth, the growth equity arm of Novo Holdings, joins Exscientia’s board of directors as part of the financing round.
Exscientia has demonstrated high growth and significant milestones in applying AI to small molecule drug discovery. Earlier this year, it announced that the first ever precision engineered drug designed using AI had entered Phase I human clinical trials for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in partnership with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma (DSP).
This project required less than 12 months to advance the programme from target to identifying developmental candidate, just a fraction of the typical average of 4.5 years using conventional research techniques. The company has been able to consistently deliver similar reductions in developmental timelines across its portfolio of projects.
Robert Ghenchev at Novo Holdings commented, “Through its impressive track record to date, Exscientia has demonstrated the value of combining deep scientific expertise with cutting-edge technology capabilities to significantly accelerate drug discovery. Novo Holdings’ investment underscores our interest in supporting technology companies that enable life science research and innovation, and our commitment to this area.
“We see significant opportunity for the company to further grow its participation in the drug discovery ecosystem and are excited to work with the Exscientia team in realising this vision.”
Prof. Andrew Hopkins, CEO and founder of Exscientia added, “This investment highlights the increasing commitment to the potential of AI to transform drug discovery and the excitement that we have garnered around the innovative work we are doing at Exscientia.
“We have now demonstrated multiple times that our platform can accelerate the time between the start of an idea and a viable new drug candidate for patients in need of treatments, fast tracking the entire R&D process. We are delighted that Novo Holdings, one of the world’s preeminent life science investors, recognises the potential of the platform to transform the pharmaceutical industry.”
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: “Evotec was the first strategic and operational investor in Exscientia and we are extremely pleased it has made such impressive progress since that time and to be part of this significant fund raising.
“Evotec and Exscientia, together, look forward to realising further synergistic potential in innovative drug discovery.”
The new capital will be used to expand Exscientia’s existing portfolio and pipeline and accelerate its international expansion, including the build-out of its presence in the USA.