GlaxoSmithKline’s AI drug development partnership just bore fruit
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GlaxoSmithKline’s AI drug development partnership just bore fruit

After two years, GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) artificial intelligence (AI) drug development partnership with medical tech start-up Exscientia has borne fruit. The pharmaceutical giant and its smaller partner announced last Wednesday that their program had discovered a potential therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) – a serious breathing disorder.

GlaxoSmithKline’s share price has appreciated by more than 5% so far this year

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Source: Yahoo Finance

GSK and Exscientia, which started working together in July 2017, said that their Centaur Chemist AI-driven automated platform was able to discover the drug, which was a molecule with fewer compounds than drugs discovered through more conventional means. Andy Bell, Exscientia’s chief research officer, made the following statement:

“Our AI platform and approach have advanced significantly over the past few years and have been constantly refined and optimized through real-world projects for our pharma partners. With the productivity improvements we are now seeing, we believe that our Centaur Chemist approach is proving itself to be the industry’s leading AI drug-discovery platform by achieving far superior results to what conventional discovery techniques have historically delivered.”

The application of AI and machine learning to drug discovery and development is a hot topic in pharmaceuticals. But it’s very much in its nascent phase. GSK and Exscientia are amongst the first partnership that looks like it could get something to market. Other partnerships that are looking to leverage the power of Big Tech on the pharmaceutical industry include Charles River Laboratories deal with Atomwise (also drug discovery), and Novartis’s partnership with Intel (faster specimen analysis).


Dominion holds GlaxoSmithKline, Charles River Laboratories, and Novartis in its Global Trends Managed Fund.

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