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Oxford professor appointed as Chief Scientist of Biologics AI at Exscientia

By Kani Talabani
20 January 2022
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Professor Charlotte Deane of the University of Oxford has joined pharmtech company Exscientia as Chief Scientist of Biologics AI in their technology leadership team.

Exscientia are a pharmaceutical company specialising in using artificial intelligence (AI) to engineer medicines and automate drug design. They are the first company to have an AI-designed molecule to reach clinical trials.

"I'm thrilled to join Exscientia and be part of the mission to revolutionise how new therapeutics are developed. I firmly believe that AI-led strategies are vital to improving all aspects of the process, and we've likely only just seen the beginning of how AI can transform conventional drug discovery and development.” said Professor Deane in the company’s recent press release. 

Hailed as one of the UK’s most accomplished bioinformaticians, Professor Charlotte Deane, Ph.D., brings with her years of knowledge and experience to the team. Her most recent role is Professor of Structural Bioinformatics and leader of Oxford University’s Protein Informatics group; a research group focused on analysing protein structure. In addition to this role, she was also the Deputy Executive Chair of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council at public body UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). 

Andrew Hopkins, Exscientia’s founder and CEO, commented: “Charlotte brings over 20 years of experience in academia as a leading bioinformatics researcher. Her pioneering work in developing solutions across the field of protein structure and interaction networks has been sponsored by some of the world’s leading health organisations and has led to the development of novel algorithms and tools for structure-based design. 

“We believe that Charlotte’s ambition to integrate machine learning and protein structure in the design of new drug candidates will help further Exscientia's mission to make the best possible medicines for patients, faster.”

Earlier this month, Exscientia announced a ‘groundbreaking’ research collaboration with the French multinational healthcare company Sanofi, with an aim to “develop up to 15 novel small molecule candidates across oncology and immunology”. As per their agreement, the company received an upfront cash payment of £100 million from Sanofi and will receive up to £5.2 billion more in the future.


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