OXFORD, England, Feb. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ —
Following a highly successful year and several drug discovery milestones using its flagship AI platform, Exscientia is pleased to welcome Andrew Douglas as the new Director of Data Engineering.
Andrew joins Exscientia from Winton Capital, a global investment management and data science company, where he led the design and creation of platforms, algorithms and models to automate data processing, analyse data and predict outcomes as a core element of the firm’s strategic investment approach.
Andrew has 10+ years’ experience in data engineering and in developing systems that support the functioning of AI-powered approaches. At Exscientia, he will leverage his expertise to streamline, scale up the company’s data systems and automated processes alongside supporting the AI to perform design work. This will enable Exscientia’s drug discovery teams to increase productivity and therefore the quality of drug candidates generated through the Centaur Chemist™ platform.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Andrew to the team,” says Adrian Schreyer, CTO at Exscientia. “This is a very exciting time for us, as we are rapidly expanding our talent in computer science and drug discovery in anticipation of rapid growth, so this timing could not have been better.”
Since Exscientia’s inception in 2012, the company has grown exponentially securing six major pharma collaborations (Evotec, Roche, GSK, Sanofi, Sumitomo and Sunovion) and rapidly growing its proprietary pipeline of drugs. Earlier this year, it has secured a $26 million Series B investment. The company is led by an industry-recognised executive team with years of experience at leading firms like Pfizer, GSK and Goldman Sachs, and several industry awards amongst them. It is now on a path to ramp up its technology capabilities.
Andrew commented: “What drew me to Exscientia’s mission is that its use of technology is strongly driven by objective results and their impact on drug discovery productivity. There is also a clear recognition at Exscientia of the synergy possible between human expertise and machine intelligence and a motivation to really make a difference to patients’ lives. I very much look forward to applying my experience in data volume, variety, velocity and veracity acquired through my time in the financial sector into drug discovery and working with a world-class team to deliver these goals.”
Exscientia is at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery and design. By fusing the power of AI with the discovery experience of seasoned drug hunters, Exscientia is the first company to automate drug design, surpassing conventional approaches.
Exscientia’s innovative 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.
Exscientia systems learn from both existing data resources and experimental data from each design cycle. The principle is similar to how a human would learn, but the AI process is far more effective at identifying and assimilating multiple subtle and complex trends to balance potency, selectivity and pharmacokinetic criteria.
As a result, the AI-driven process is more likely to achieve the end goal and to do this more rapidly and efficiently than traditional human endeavour.
Exscientia is collaborating with several leading pharmaceutical and life sciences companies, including GSK, Sanofi and Evotec.