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Exscientia has been given funding from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to accelerate the optimization of a new class of COVID-19 drugs created using its AI drug design platform.
Artificial intelligence (AI)-driven pharmatech company, Exscientia, has been given funding from the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator to accelerate the optimization of a new class of COVID-19 drugs created using its AI drug design platform.
The company has designed a novel class of inhibitors using its AI platform that target the SARS-CoV-2 main protease enzyme, Mpro. These small-molecule inhibitors will be optimized into a therapeutic development candidate that will be active against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.
This new funding, which has been specified as $1.5 million in a July 8, 2021 press release, will be used to advance a development candidate on achieving defined milestones. The funds are an addition to recent backing from the Gates Foundation in support of Exscientia’s work in developing treatments for tuberculosis, malaria, and non-hormonal contraceptives.
“The danger of new emerging strains and mutations of coronavirus means there is an urgent need for new antiviral drugs in this pandemic alongside vaccines, to respond more quickly in potential future coronavirus pandemics,” said Denise Barrault, senior portfolio manager at Exscientia, in the press release. “We believe that the world needs innovation to accelerate the discovery of more effective counter-measures for a range of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.”