MD Anderson and Exscientia launch strategic collaboration to leverage AI in developing novel oncology treatments

HOUSTON and OXFORD, England ― The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Exscientia plc today announced a strategic collaboration to align the drug discovery and development expertise of MD Anderson with the patient-centric artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities of Exscientia in order to advance novel small-molecule oncology therapies.

The research collaboration will utilize Exscientia’s precision medicine platform to identify novel anti-cancer, cell-intrinsic small-molecule compounds based on jointly identified therapeutic targets. Promising candidates will advance for further development with the team at MD Anderson’s Therapeutics Discovery division. The collaborators anticipate that successful target discovery programs may be advanced into proof-of-concept clinical trials at MD Anderson.

“We are driven to develop the next generation of oncology treatments that can offer meaningful benefits and improve the lives of our patients,” said Philip Jones, Ph.D., vice president of Therapeutics Discovery and head of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) at MD Anderson. “This collaboration is built upon Exscientia’s AI-driven precision medicine platform, the strength of MD Anderson’s drug discovery and development engine, and the expertise of our clinical research teams. Our ultimate goal is to decrease the time we spend in drug development and accelerate novel targeted therapies into the clinic.”

Exscientia will collaborate with the team at IACS, a drug discovery engine focused on developing novel small-molecule therapeutics. IACS is a core component of MD Anderson’s Therapeutics Discovery division, an integrated team of researchers, physicians and drug development experts working to advance impactful new therapies.

“We are tremendously proud to work alongside MD Anderson to harness our AI-driven platform toward the discovery of next-generation cancer treatments. Artificial intelligence has opened up new possibilities in cancer research, enabling us to use deep learning multi-omics within our precision medicine platform to test potential drug candidates in Exscientia’s patient tissue models,” said Andrew Hopkins, D.Phil., founder and chief executive officer of Exscientia. “Further, our platform holds the potential to stratify patients even in the early discovery stage, allowing us to efficiently design drug candidates that are most likely to be impactful for people with cancer.”

Under the agreement terms, Exscientia and MD Anderson will jointly contribute to and support each program designated to move forward.

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Disclosure

MD Anderson has an institutional conflict of interest with Exscientia, and this relationship will be managed according to an MD Anderson Institutional Conflict of Interest Management and Monitoring Plan.

About Exscientia

Exscientia is an AI-driven pharmatech company committed to discovering, designing and developing the best possible drugs in the fastest and most effective manner. Exscientia developed the first-ever functional precision oncology platform to successfully guide treatment selection and improve patient outcomes in a prospective interventional clinical study, as well as to progress AI-designed small molecules into the clinical setting. Our internal pipeline is focused on leveraging our precision medicine platform in oncology, while our partnered pipeline broadens our approach to other therapeutic areas. By pioneering a new approach to medicine creation, we believe the best ideas of science can rapidly become the best medicines for patients.

About MD Anderson

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world’s most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. The institution’s sole mission is to end cancer for patients and their families around the world. MD Anderson is one of only 53 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). MD Anderson is No. 1 for cancer in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” rankings and has been named one of the nation’s top two hospitals for cancer since the rankings began in 1990. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).