Bristol Myers Squibb develops Exscientia’s drug candidate 

Exscientia has announced that Bristol Myers Squibb has elected to in-license its immune-modulating drug candidate. Exscientia has two active collaborations with Bristol Myers Squibb, which together focus on multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology and immunology. A significant expansion of the relationship was announced earlier this year. 

The in-licensed candidate targets a critical immunological kinase that historically has proven difficult to target due to the need for a combination of potency, selectivity, and overall drug-like properties. To design a novel candidate that overcame these issues, Exscientia utilised its platform to drive the discovery process, including AI-driven design, structural biology, chemistry, and pharmacology, as well as late-stage preclinical studies.  

Exscientia’s precision design approach focused on solving, in parallel, parameters important to overall therapeutic performance for the target, such as potency, selectivity, safety, and physicochemical characteristics. Exscientia’s platform is ideally suited for solving multi-objective design problems to efficiently and rapidly discover novel drug candidates with superior properties. 

Andrew Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer of Exscientia, commented: “We are focused on using our patient-first AI technology to design precision engineered drugs against challenging drug product profiles. We are seeing great efficiency from our platform. This drug candidate molecule was just the 150th novel compound to be designed and tested and it was identified within 11 months of starting drug design. In partnership with Bristol Myers Squibb and its world-class research, clinical and commercialisation capabilities, we look forward to advancing this candidate into the next stage of development.” 

Rupert Vessey, President of Research & Early Development at Bristol Myers Squibb said: “We are pleased to in-license our first drug candidate resulting from our strategic collaboration with Exscientia. Artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to play important roles in drug discovery and Exscientia has delivered a promising development candidate in the field of immunology. We look forward to our continued collaboration and further advancing this candidate for the potential benefit of patients with unmet medical need.” 

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