Uniting industry and academia for phenotypic drug discovery

A collaboration between Exscientia and the University of Oxford Target Discovery Institute (Oxford TDI) has been established to source cellular functional assays from the global academic community, with the goal of developing novel screens and identifying targets and therapeutic candidates for unmet medical needs. Here, Dr Denise Barrault, Director of Portfolio Management at Exscientia, discusses the new partnership with Drug Target Review.

The new collaboration between Exscientia and Oxford TDI will expedite early-stage drug discovery research – primarily conducted within academic labs – to potentially leverage those outputs and bring therapies to patients sooner. The programme offers applicants resources to explore, identify and rapidly advance novel drug targets by utilising Oxford TDI’s expertise in developing robust, disease-relevant, predictive screening assays and Exscientia’s artificial intelligence (AI) personalised medicine design capabilities.

Assay submissions will be evaluated and selected by the Xcellomics Scientific Committee and will be developed, produced and validated via advanced cell screening using a range of phenotypic and functional genomic outputs. Successful projects will then be progressed using Exscientia’s proprietary AI-driven platform with the aim of rapidly identifying potential targets for new medicine programmes. Speaking to Drug Target Review, Dr Denise Barrault from Exscientia explained why this project is so significant for both industry and academia, exploring how it can aid academic researchers to progress their assays for drug discovery.