Exscientia to advance AI-driven platform with European collaboration
Published on 07 March 2023
Exscientia plc, a world-leading pharmatech company in AI drug discovery with laboratory and robotics work based at Milton Park, has announced a new collaboration with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, one of the largest university hospitals in Europe, to utilise Exscientia’s AI-driven precision medicine platform in haematological cancers.
Under the collaboration, Charité will evaluate the potential of Exscientia’s precision medicine platform to select better treatments and improve outcomes for patients with haematological cancers. Each patient sample will be prospectively evaluated with a broad panel of marketed drugs, including drugs that may not yet be approved for the indication, to determine a comparative response profile, ex vivo.
Professor Ulrich Keller, M.D., Director Medical Department, Division of Haematology and Oncology at Charité, said: "Despite major advances in the treatment of haematological cancers, the mortality rate for patients suffering from these conditions remains high.
"Following the results of the EXALT-1 trial, we believe that this new collaboration with Exscientia may present an opportunity to continue exploring how to meaningfully improve therapy selection and patient outcomes.
"Simultaneously, it is imperative that we develop a new generation of therapeutics against unexplored targets and biomarkers to improve patient outcomes, and we believe that our newly established biobank will enable Exscientia to move towards this goal."
This collaboration will expand on the results of the EXALT-1 study, which were previously published in the peer reviewed journal, Cancer Discovery. EXALT-1 was a first-of-its-kind prospective trial, which demonstrated significantly improved outcomes for late-stage haematological cancer patients using Exscientia's deep learning-based high content functional drug testing platform to guide personalised treatment recommendations as compared to physician’s choice of treatment.
A post-hoc analysis published in Blood Cancer Discovery showed that combining this technology with new deep learning advancements leveraging cell-specific features in high-content images had the potential to further improve patient outcomes.
Charité will also establish a biobank of viably cryopreserved blood, bone marrow and lymph node tissues to support further technology development and preclinical research projects at both Exscientia and Charité. Unlike conventional biobanks that typically contain dead specimens, this will contain live human tissue samples and therefore be instrumental for clinical and translational research.
Professor Andrew Hopkins PhD, Founder and CEO at Exscientia, said: "We are really excited to work with Charité to further advance the development and capabilities of our AI-driven functional precision medicine platform. Following the success of the EXALT-1 trial, we believe that AI-guided treatment has the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes, as well as healthcare economics, and we look forward to Charité using this approach in a clinical research setting.
"Charité’s work will contribute to Exscientia's growing body of evidence supporting our platform's potential in identifying the right treatment for the right patient.
"The systematic collection of viable tissue will allow us to further develop the technology as well as advance our clinical and future translational research around novel and better drugs as we seek to modernise the way we guide treatment selection for patients."
To find out more about Exscientia and its work, please visit: www.exscientia.ai