Bayer and Exscientia collaborate on AI in cardiovascular and oncology drug discovery

graphic of handshake with couple signing a contract in background to depict Bayer and Exscientia collaborate on AI in cardiovascular and oncology drug discovery

Bayer and Exscientia are to collaborate to leverage the potential of AI in cardiovascular and oncology drug discovery.

Exscientia, the leading Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company, announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Bayer AG that aims to accelerate the discovery of small molecule drugs focused on cardiovascular disease and oncology.

Under terms of the agreement, Exscientia will initially work on three projects with targets agreed between both parties. Exscientia may be eligible to receive up to €240 million, including upfront and research payments, near term and clinical milestones. As part of the agreement, Exscientia may also receive sales royalties.

As part of this collaboration, Exscientia will apply its Centaur Chemist™ Artificial Intelligence (AI) drug discovery platform to go beyond conventional human endeavour by using its evolutionary computing and deep learning algorithms to discover and optimise novel drug candidates at unprecedented productivity.

Professor Andrew Hopkins, Chief Executive Officer of Exscientia, commented: “We’re delighted to collaborate with Bayer, a globally recognised pharmaceutical company. Since our pioneering Nature papers demonstrating the automated design of small molecules, we have enhanced our platform and exemplified it commercially, by accelerating the discovery of future drug molecules with partners.”

Dr. Joerg Moeller, Member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG’s Pharmaceuticals Division and Head of Research and Development (R&D) added: “We are driving forward digital transformation in R&D as we believe that digital technologies such as AI can simplify and speed up the discovery and development of new drugs for patients. The collaboration with Exscientia is expected to help us to achieve project milestones earlier and at the same time accelerate timelines by enabling more precise identification of suitable drug targets and lead structures.”

Exscientia’s Centaur Chemist™ platform enables breakthrough productivity gains as well as new approaches to improve drug efficacy. Novel compounds are automatically designed and prioritised for synthesis by its AI systems, which rapidly evolve compounds towards the desired candidate criteria for clinical development.