Health Care

GSK signs drug discovery pact with AI group Exscientia

GSK signs drug discovery pact with AI group Exscientia”

British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is turning to artificial intelligence to help streamline the drug discovery process.

Earlier this year, GSK also entered a collaboration with the US Department of Energy and National Cancer Institute to accelerate pre-clinical drug development through use of advanced computational technologies.

Other pharma companies partnered with Exscientia are Evotec (immuno-oncology), Sanofi (metabolic disease), Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals (central nervous system).

Until recently, pharmaceutical research has relied on software that checks if any molecules fit a drug profile written by chemists, or has used simulations to predict useful structures. Others included USA firms Berg, Numerate, twoXAR and Atomwise, as well as Britain's BenevolentAI.

Under the deal, Exscientia will receive research funding from GSK to undertake drug-finding missions for 10 "target" diseases, with the full £33m ($43m) amount paid on successful delivery of preclinical drug candidates for all 10 targets.

Hopkins said in his statement that using these methods had allowed Exscientia to reduce the time taken to find molecules to take to further trial stages to around a quarter of the time, for a quarter of the cost, compared to traditional methods.

In a statement, Exscientia chief executive Andrew Hopkins stated that the collaboration would enable the company to venture into "new discovery programmes with nominated targets". That is the extent of details, though, related to this collaboration's finances. If all goals are met, GSK will fork over almost $43 million in research payments. Hopkins, who previously used to labor at Pfizer, claimed that the AI system of Exscientia can offer drug candidates in nearly a time frame of 1 quarter and at the cost required for traditional approaches of 1 quarter.

Although the technology has not been fully proven in recent ventures, more and more high-tech solutions are being incorporated into daily research and development every day. The drug-maker also now offers a 4.51% dividend payout which is one of the biggest compared to its other competitors.

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