Combines Exscientia’s leading AI-driven drug identification and design capabilities with GT Apeiron’s expertise in cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) targets for oncology
Expands existing CDK7 drug discovery partnership with additional CDK targeting drugs
Exscientia, an AI-driven pharmatech company with a mission to revolutionise how drugs are discovered, and GT Apeiron Therapeutics （Apeiron）, a Shanghai based company focused on novel oncology drugs, announced today a strategic research and development collaboration agreement. The collaboration will leverage the patient-centric AI-first capabilities of Exscientia to accelerate the discovery of multiple small molecule therapeutic drug candidates designed to selectively treat aberrant cell cycle driven cancers and build a pipeline of CDK novel therapies. All pipeline products will be equally owned and Exscientia holds an equity stake in Apeiron.
This expanded collaboration follows the successful design of multiple selective CDK7 compounds. The potent, highly selective, non-covalent CDK7 compounds have demonstrated consistent tumour responses in xenograft models as well as exceptional pharmacokinetics. In addition, using live primary tissue samples from ovarian cancer patients, the CDK7 inhibitors showed both enhanced tumour cell cytotoxicity as well as selectivity over immune cells in the same microenvironment.
“Based on what they have already achieved, Exscientia is clearly the leader in AI-driven drug discovery, and we have witnessed this first-hand in our collaboration so far,”stated Dr. Mingxi Li, President of GT Apeiron Therapeutics. “We have been incredibly impressed by the combined power of the AI design and use of patient data to optimize and select molecules that are more likely to give positive effects in the clinic. This joint venture is a significant step in building GT Apeiron’s valuable and robust pipeline of CDK inhibitor drugs and substantially accelerates our early-stage output and progression towards being a clinical stage biotech company.”
“We are driven to bring drugs to market that make a difference for patients,” says Andrew Hopkins, chief executive officer of Exscientia. “Apeiron bring a focus and an expertise on the biological basis of multiple cancers and helps us to create better drugs for better outcomes in the clinic and beyond. This collaboration has already proven to be capable of delivering potential drug candidates with promising patient-relevant data, and we look forward to extending that into a portfolio of multiple clinical assets.”
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