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Exscientia buys Austrian cancer cell screening company for €50 million

Published on 17/06/21 at 09:46am

UK-based AI pioneers Exscientia has announced the purchase of rival AI firm Allcyte for €50 million.

The multimillion deal, paid in cash and stocks, will give Exscientia ownership of a technology platform that takes patient samples and tests them against a library of approved or experimental drugs, using an AI-enabled imaging system to determine which compounds are having an effect.

Through this latest acquisition, Exscientia will expand its translational capabilities by enabling high content evaluation of individual patient biology in primary tumour tissues, rather than artificial cell lines or animal models. Allcyte’s platform has been validated on multiple solid and haematological tumour types as well as in non-cancerous tissues.

Allcyte’s technology will be significantly expanded and extended once the companies join together, moving into early discovery being applied from target discovery and drug optimisation, to patient selection. This end-to-end approach will allow discovery projects to be assessed in a biological setting that more accurately reflects the actual patient environment, improving translation from laboratory to clinic.

Andrew Hopkins, Exscientia’s CEO, said: “Allcyte is able to demonstrate what therapy actually works in the individual patient with the most disease relevant screening platform we have seen.

“Combining Allcyte’s platform with Exscientia’s technologies can redefine how drugs are developed, enabling integrated discovery and patient selection. Allcyte has assembled an outstanding team in Vienna and integration of the two platforms truly allows us to build our vision of patient-first AI.”

The transaction is currently being reviewed under the customary Austrian regulatory process prior to closing. Exscientia plans to expand the Vienna site, setting it up to be its hub in the European Union.

Nikolaus Krall, Allcyte CEO, said: “We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to immediately apply this technology to a wide range of drug discovery projects at Exscientia.  This will also provide our team with the scale to expand our operations much more quickly to help provide important personalised, precision medicines to as many patients as possible.”

Kat Jenkins 

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