How does a night at the pub give you an idea for the first ever AI drug discovery company? Can you code how humans perceive beauty? Do you want the job title ‘Drug Hunter’ for your CV? Well, this week, James is joined by Prof. Andrew Hopkins, a leader in using AI in the hunt for medicines who will answer all of those questions. A bold claim, but one that can be backed up: Andrew invented the Artificial Intelligence approach to fix the very expensive, very slow, and very risky process of drug discovery, design and development.
Andrew's company, Exscientia, works with data scientists, chemists and machine learning engineers that mine huge amounts of data to bring new insights into what diseases are and how they can be treated. Their approach is currently shortening medicine discovery from 5 to 1 year and cutting the cost of drug development by more than 30%. Prior to Exscientia, Prof. Hopkins spent 14 years at Pfizer, where he was frustrated with the slow pace of innovation - so he went back to Academia to found Exscientia as a spin out from his lab in 2012. Since then, Exscientia has discovered 4 pre-clinical drug candidates, with the first drug design by algorithm to enter human clinical trials imminently - and signed over 8 major pharma collaborations with companies such as Celgene, Sanofi, GSK and Evotec, estimated to be worth over $1 billion in milestones and royalties.
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You can get our host, Dr. James Somauroo, at www.jamessomauroo.com and you can follow him on Twitter @jamessomauroo, on Instagram @j_soms and on Linkedin at james-somauroo