British biotech Exscientia raises $60m

Via Yahoo Finance

A British biotech company which was spun out of the University of Dundee has raised $60m (£49m) as it continues work on coronavirus treatments.

Exscientia said the latest round was led by a new investor, life sciences specialist Novo Holdings, and included investment from Evotec, Bristol Myers Squibb, and GT Healthcare Capital.

The company, which is based in Oxford, said the funding would be used to expand its portfolio and pipeline, as well as double down on its push into the US.

Exscientia is among the UK biotechs to be involved in collaborations over Covid-19 treatments, in April announcing a tie-up with American research group Calibr to screen 15,000 drugs in search of a possible treatment for the virus.

Exscientia’s technology uses artificial intelligence to find blockbuster pharma drugs, and earlier this year the first drug designed using its system entered human trials. The compound was designed for treating obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Boss and founder Andrew Hopkins said the company had “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”.

He said the latest “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”. 

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