Artificial Intelligence: Bristol-Myers-Squibb And Exscientia Ink $1.2B AI Deal For Drug Discovery

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U.K.-based Exscientia will conduct the AI-powered drug mining and preclinical experiments.

Exscientia, the UK-based pharmatech company specializing in AI-driven discovery of drug molecules, has agreed to collaborate with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE: BMY) for the discovery of small-molecule therapeutic drug candidates in multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology & immunology using Artificial Intelligence (AI). (BusinessWire)

Milestones

Under the agreement, BMS will pay $50 million upfront, up to $125 million in near to mid-term milestones, and other payments that could take the total contract value to $1.2 billion.

“We are proud that Bristol Myers Squibb wants to build on our work together with this expanded collaboration and believe it speaks to the strength and promise of Exscientia’s AI technologies and drug discovery expertise,” said Andrew Hopkins, CEO of Exscientia.

Last week, it was announced that a molecule for Alzheimer’s created by Exscientia’s AI in collaboration with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma entered clinical trials.

“This is further validation that our AI platform can turn complex biological challenges into high-quality clinical candidates quickly,” said Hopkins at the time. “To have what we believe to be the world’s first three clinical molecules created using AI arising from our own platform – two with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma – is a wonderful achievement.”

Exscientia has also collaborated with other pharma majors including Bayer (ETR: BAYN) and Sanofi (EPA: SAN), and with the Gates Foundation.

“Exscientia’s application of AI technologies is proving capable of generating best-in-class molecules while also reducing discovery times,” said Rupert Vessey, President of Research & Early Development at Bristol Myers Squibb. “Rapid discovery of molecules that can enter the clinic in a timely manner could positively impact our work in discovering treatments for areas of unmet medical need.”

Huge funding in the bag

Exscientia completed last month a $225 million Series D funding round with access up to an additional $300 million at the company’s discretion.

SoftBank Vision Fund 2 led the Series D and was joined by previous round lead investors, Novo Holdings, and funds managed by Blackrock.

Other investors included Mubadala Investment Company, Farallon Capital, Casdin Capital, GT Healthcare Capital, Marshall Wace, Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Laurion Capital, Hongkou, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

In addition, SoftBank provided an additional $300 million equity commitment that can be drawn at the Company’s discretion.

Related Story:  A Molecule For Alzheimer’s Created By Exscientia’s AI Enters Clinical Trials

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