MD Anderson and Exscientia launch strategic collaboration to leverage AI in developing novel oncology treatments

Effort aligns MD Anderson’s drug development expertise with Exscientia’s AI-driven patient-first precision medicine and drug discovery platforms

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Exscientia plc today announced a strategic collaboration to align the drug discovery and development expertise of MD Anderson with the patient-centric artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities of Exscientia in order to advance novel small-molecule oncology therapies.

The research collaboration will utilize Exscientia’s precision medicine platform to identify novel anti-cancer, cell-intrinsic small-molecule compounds based on jointly identified therapeutic targets. Promising candidates will advance for further development with the team at MD Anderson’s Therapeutics Discovery division. The collaborators anticipate that successful target discovery programs may be advanced into proof-of-concept clinical trials at MD Anderson.

“We are driven to develop the next generation of oncology treatments that can offer meaningful benefits and improve the lives of our patients,” said Philip Jones, Ph.D., vice president of Therapeutics Discovery and head of the Institute for Applied Cancer Science (IACS) at MD Anderson. “This collaboration is built upon Exscientia’s AI-driven precision medicine platform, the strength of MD Anderson’s drug discovery and development engine, and the expertise of our clinical research teams. Our ultimate goal is to decrease the time we spend in drug development and accelerate novel targeted therapies into the clinic.”

Exscientia will collaborate with the team at IACS, a drug discovery engine focused on developing novel small-molecule therapeutics. IACS is a core component of MD Anderson’s Therapeutics Discovery division, an integrated team of researchers, physicians and drug development experts working to advance impactful new therapies.

“We are tremendously proud to work alongside MD Anderson to harness our AI-driven platform toward the discovery of next-generation cancer treatments. Artificial intelligence has opened up new possibilities in cancer research, enabling us to use deep learning multi-omics within our precision medicine platform to test potential drug candidates in Exscientia’s patient tissue models,” said Andrew Hopkins, D.Phil., founder and chief executive officer of Exscientia. “Further, our platform holds the potential to stratify patients even in the early discovery stage, allowing us to efficiently design drug candidates that are most likely to be impactful for people with cancer.”

Under the agreement terms, Exscientia and MD Anderson will jointly contribute to and support each program designated to move forward.


MD Anderson has an institutional conflict of interest with Exscientia, and this relationship will be managed according to an MD Anderson Institutional Conflict of Interest Management and Monitoring Plan.