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Exscientia and GT Apeiron Therapeutics have entered into a strategic R&D oncology collaboration agreement.
Artificial intelligence (AI)-driven pharmatech company, Exscientia, and Shanghai-based oncology specialist, GT Apeiron Therapeutics, have entered into a strategic research and development collaboration agreement.
According to a July 21, 2021 press release, the oncology joint venture will involve leveraging Exscientia’s patient-centric AI-first capabilities and GT Apeiron’s expertise to speed up the discovery of multiple small-molecule therapeutic drug candidates, designed to selectively treat aberrant cell cycle-driven cancers. The ultimate goal of the collaboration will be to build a pipeline of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) novel therapies.
This joint venture expands upon previous work, where multiple selective CDK7 compounds were designed. These compounds have demonstrated consistent tumor responses in xenograft models, it was reported in the press release. Additionally, the CDK7 inhibitors were found to enhance tumor cell cytotoxicity and selectivity over immune cells in live primary tissue samples from ovarian cancer patients.
“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 Mingxi Li, president of GT Apeiron Therapeutics, in the press release. “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,” added Andrew Hopkins, CEO of Exscientia, in the press release. “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.”