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Frontier IP Group - Portfolio news – Exscientia raises $60 million

RNS Number : 8314N
Frontier IP Group plc
26 May 2020
 

 

AIM: FIPP

26 May 2020

 

 

Frontier IP Group Plc

("Frontier IP" or the "Group")

 

Portfolio news - Exscientia raises $60 million in Series C financing round led by Novo Holdings

 

Frontier IP, a specialist in commercialising intellectual property, notes that portfolio company Exscientia Limited ("Exscientia" or the "Company"), a world leader in AI-driven drug discovery, has raised $60 million through a Series C financing round.

 

The new capital will be used to expand Exscientia's existing portfolio and pipeline and to accelerate international expansion, including in the USA. The Company has demonstrated high growth and met significant milestones. Earlier this year, it announced that the first ever drug designed by AI had entered Phase I human clinical trials in partnership with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma.

 

The financing round has been led by new investor Novo Holdings with existing investors - Evotec,  Bristol Myers Squibb, and GT Healthcare Capital Partners (through its LPs) - participating. Robert Ghenchev, Senior Partner and Head of Novo Growth, joins Exscientia's board of directors as part of the financing round. 

 

As a result of the financing round, Frontier IP now holds a 2.4 per cent equity stake in Exscientia. Based on the Group's trading for the year to date, the outlook for Frontier IP for the remainder of the financial year ending 30 June 2020, including in relation to the Group's overall portfolio valuation, remains in line with management expectations following the completion of the Exscientia financing round.

 

Exscientia statement in full:

 

Exscientia raises $60 million in Series C financing round led by Novo Holdings

 

26th May 2020, Oxford, Copenhagen, and Hamburg

 

Exscientia, the world leading artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery company, today announced it has raised $60 million in a Series C financing round. The financing round has been led by new investor Novo Holdings with existing investors - Evotec, Bristol Myers Squibb, and GT Healthcare Capital Partners (through its LPs) - participating in the round. Robert Ghenchev, Senior Partner and Head of Novo Growth, the growth equity arm of Novo Holdings, joins Exscientia's board of directors as part of the financing round.

 

The new capital will be used to boldly expand Exscientia's existing portfolio and pipeline, by launching new projects, progressing advanced projects to the clinic, and expanding AI biology as part of Exscientia's full-stack capabilities. In addition, the company plans to accelerate its international expansion, including the build-out of its presence in the USA.

 

Exscientia has demonstrated high growth and significant milestones in applying AI to small molecule drug discovery. Earlier this year, it announced that the first ever precision engineered drug designed using AI had entered Phase I human clinical trials for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder in partnership with Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma (DSP). This project required less than 12 months to advance the programme from target to identifying developmental candidate, just a fraction of the typical average of 4.5 years using conventional research techniques. The company has been able to consistently deliver similar reductions in developmental timelines across its portfolio of projects.

 

Exscientia has continued to expand its portfolio into critical disease areas following the signing of multi-project partnerships with Bristol Myers Squibb, Bayer, Rallybio and GT Apeiron. In March this year, Exscientia announced a joint initiative to identify COVID-19 antiviral treatments with Diamond Light Source and Scripps Research and last week it announced a ground-breaking collaboration with SRI International to combine fully automated synthetic chemistry with AI.

 

Robert Ghenchev at Novo Holdings commented "Through its impressive track record to date, Exscientia has demonstrated the value of combining deep scientific expertise with cutting-edge technology capabilities to significantly accelerate drug discovery. Novo Holdings' investment underscores our interest in supporting technology companies that enable life science research and innovation, and our commitment to this area. We see significant opportunity for the company to further grow its participation in the drug discovery ecosystem and are excited to work with the Exscientia team in realising this vision."

 

"This investment highlights the increasing commitment to the potential of AI to transform drug discovery and the excitement that we have garnered around the innovative work we are doing at Exscientia", said Prof. Andrew Hopkins, CEO and founder of Exscientia. "We have now demonstrated multiple times that our platform can accelerate the time between the start of an idea and a viable new drug candidate for patients in need of treatments, fast tracking the entire R&D process. We are delighted that Novo Holdings, one of the world's preeminent life science investors, recognises the potential of the platform to transform the pharmaceutical industry." 

 

Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, commented: "Evotec was the first strategic and operational investor in Exscientia and we are extremely pleased it has made such impressive progress since that time and to be part of this significant fund raising. Evotec and Exscientia, together, look forward to realising further synergistic potential in innovative drug discovery."

 

 

Exscientia statement ends 

 

 

ENQUIRIES

 

Frontier IP Group Plc

T: 020 7332 2338

Neil Crabb, Chief Executive

Andrew Johnson, Communications & Investor Relations

Company website: www.frontierip.co.uk

[email protected]

M: 07464 546 025

Allenby Capital Limited (Nominated Adviser)

T: 0203 328 5656

Nick Athanas / Nicholas Chambers

 

N+1 Singer (Broker)

Harry  Gooden / George Tzimas

 

 

 

 

 

 

T: 0207 496 3000

Exscientia Limited  

Contacts:

Mark Swindells, chief commercial officer 

 

 

 

 

 

[email protected]

Edelman PR

[email protected]

Stephanie Crisp

+44(0) 7583 003 417

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

 

 

About Exscientia

 

Exscientia is a global Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven drug discovery company and the first to have novel chemical molecules assessed in a clinical setting. Fusing the power of the original AI-design with the experience of seasoned drug hunters, Exscientia's Centaur Chemist™ platform enables the discovery of exquisitely optimised molecules with breakthrough productivity.

 

In tandem, Exscientia's Centaur Biologist™ platform drives the flexible analysis and prioritisation of discovery targets across all pharmaceutically relevant disease space. For more information visit us on www.exscientia.ai or follow us on Twitter @exscientialtd.

 

ABOUT NOVO HOLDINGS

 

Novo Holdings, a Danish private limited liability company wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, is recognised as a leading international life science investor with a focus on creating long-term value. As a life science investor, Novo Holdings provides seed and venture capital to development-stage companies and takes significant ownership positions in growth and well-established companies. Novo Holdings also manages a broad portfolio of diversified financial assets. For more information, visit www.novoholdings.dk

 

ABOUT EVOTEC

 

Evotec is a drug discovery alliance and development partnership company focused on rapidly progressing innovative product approaches with leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, academics, patient advocacy groups and venture capitalists. We operate worldwide and our more than 3,000 employees provide the highest quality stand-alone and integrated drug discovery and development solutions. We cover all activities from target-to-clinic to meet the industry's need for innovation and efficiency in drug discovery and development (EVT Execute).

 

The Company has established a unique position by assembling top-class scientific experts and integrating state-of-the-art technologies as well as substantial experience and expertise in key therapeutic areas including neuronal diseases, diabetes and complications of diabetes, pain and inflammation, oncology, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases, fibrosis, rare diseases and women's health.

 

On this basis, Evotec has built a broad and deep pipeline of approx. 100 co-owned product opportunities at clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages (EVT Innovate). Evotec has established multiple long-term alliances with partners including Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol Myers Squibb, CHDI, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB and others. For additional information please go to www.evotec.com and follow us on Twitter @Evotec.

 

ABOUT FRONTIER IP

Frontier IP unites science and commerce by identifying strong intellectual property and accelerating its development through a range of commercialisation services. A critical part of the Group's work is involving relevant industry partners at an early stage of development to ensure technology meets real world demands and needs.

The Group looks to build and grow a portfolio of equity stakes and licence income by taking an active involvement in spin-out companies, including support for fund raising and collaboration with relevant industry partners at an early stage of development.

 


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