Bayer and Exscientia partner to leverage AI-powered drug discovery

The partnership will see AI-powered drug discovery specialists Exscientia become the first UK company to partner with Bayer for this purpose.

The two parties have agreed on targets for three upcoming projects that Exscientia will undertake.

In return, Exscientia is expected to receive up to €240 million. This will include funds provided upfront, as well as research fees and clinical milestones.

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“We’re delighted to collaborate with Bayer, a globally recognised pharmaceutical company,” said Professor Andrew Hopkins, CEO of Exscientia. “Since our pioneering Nature papers demonstrating the automated design of small-molecules, we have enhanced our platform and exemplified it commercially, by accelerating the discovery of future drug molecules with partners.”

Exscientia will use its Centaur Chemist platform in an aim to discover potential drugs to cure cardiovascular disease and oncology cases.

This will not be the first UK-based AI-related endeavour that multinational pharmaceuticals firm Bayer has been involved in; back in October, the company launched LifeHub UK, one of many LifeHub health innovation centres around the world.

Dr. Joerg Moeller, head of research and development at Bayer, said of the new partnership with Exscientia: “We are driving forward digital transformation in R&D as we believe that digital technologies such as AI can simplify and speed up the discovery and development of new drugs for patients.

“The collaboration with Exscientia is expected to help us to achieve project milestones earlier and at the same time accelerate timelines by enabling more precise identification of suitable drug targets and lead structures.”

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.