November 15, 2018

Exscientia builds "full stack" AI-driven drug discovery capabilities through acquisition of kinetic discovery

Exscientia, the company leading the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in drug discovery, announces that is has acquired the biophysics specialists, Kinetic Discovery, a private UK company. The acquisition builds up Exscientia’s capabilities for the tackling novel drug targets to create first-in-class drug candidates by seeding its algorithms with data generated through the use of fragment screening and structural biology. The addition of Kinetic’s complementary expertise enables Exscientia to create a “full stack” AI-driven drug discovery company to go rapidly from gene to clinical candidate for any druggable target of choice. The acquisition of Kinetic is part of Exscientia’s growth strategy to develop a proprietary drug pipeline and to enhance its support of existing and future partnerships.

Kinetic Discovery brings specialist protein engineering, biophysical screening and structural biology expertise that is highly synergistic to Exscientia’s current drug design, pharmacology and computational science platform. The integration of these capabilities will scale Exscientia’s ability to discover new drug molecules for its ambitious portfolio plans.

Dr Andy Bell, Chief Research Officer of Exscientia, said: “Our aim is to revolutionise the drug discovery process through the application of a systematic, AI-driven approach. We see huge synergy in combining Kinetic Discovery’s biophysics capabilities with Exscientia’s AI drug design platform. We have been working extensively with Kinetic for over two years and our scientists have been incredibly impressed with their ability to rapidly generate high-quality data on a wide range of projects. The evidence we are seeing is that our offering has the potential to radically improve the current drug discovery paradigm.”

Kinetic Discovery’s operations and employees will relocate from their current facilities at Harwell, Oxfordshire to Exscientia’s new state-of-the-art facilities in The Schrödinger Building on the Oxford Science Park. Kinetic’s founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Iva Navratilova, will join Exscientia as its Chief Biophysicist. The merging of Kinetic will increase Exscientia’s head count to 35 employees, representing 16 different nationalities.

Dr Navratilova added:

We are very excited to join forces with Exscientia and become an integral part of its unique platform. Over the last couple of years working with Exscientia’s outstanding team, we have seen the value of an integrated service to the drug discovery process, and we look forward to building on this to create better drugs faster and more cost-effectively.

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