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AI firm Exscientia appoints COO and Head of Drug Discovery

Published on: 31/01/20

AI drug discovery firm Exscientia has announced the appointment of Dr David Hallett as its Chief Operating Officer and Head of Drug Discovery.

Bringing 20 years of experience to the role, Dr Hallett’s primary remit will see him take responsibility for the company’s entire drug discovery portfolio, as well as managing pharma collaborations, joint ventures and pipeline projects. He will report to Exscientia Founder and CEO Professor Andrew Hopkins.

He joins the company from Evotec, where he served most recently as Executive Vice President, previously managing its Alliance Management and Discovery Chemistry operations. Prior to this, he worked as a medicinal chemist at MSD and then as a Research Fellow, working on preclinical candidates in the firm’s psychiatry portfolio.

“David is widely respected in the industry as a delivery-focused executive and we’re incredibly proud to have him join us, as we grow our senior leadership team ahead of an exciting year,” commented Hopkins. “His experience in managing high profile strategic collaborations and navigating complex, innovation-driven projects is a perfect fit for Exscientia as we cement our leadership in AI drug discovery and drive ambitious plans to expand our operations and pipeline.”

Dr Hallett remarked on the news: “Exscientia’s scientists and cutting-edge platforms are transforming the drug invention and optimisation process as manifested by their deal making with biotech and pharmaceutical partners. AI is fundamentally changing the way we discover new medicines and I joined Exscientia because they are clearly at the forefront of this shift – bringing together the best of technology and science to deliver true improvements.”

“I am eager to contribute to Exscientia’s efforts to drive innovation in the industry and make a positive difference in patients’ lives. I hope to use my experience at the crossroad of science and business to lead the firm into a new and promising phase of growth.”

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