- Deep learning platform evaluates drug activity in patient tumour microenvironments with single-cell resolution.
- First AI platform clinically validated to improve treatment outcomes in a prospective study.
Exscientia, a clinical-stage pharmatech company, has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Allcyte, a leader in artificial intelligence (AI) based precision medicine. The combination expands Exscientia’s 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.
Pioneering work by Allcyte has delivered a platform able to anticipate the effectiveness of cancer treatments in the clinic by using AI to analyse the activity of drugs in live patient samples at single-cell resolution. In the ﬁrst-ever prospective interventional study of its kind, EXALT-1, Allcyte’s approach predicted which therapy was to be most effective for late-stage haematological cancer patients based on drug activity in their own tissue samples.
EXALT-1 demonstrated the real-world patient selection capabilities of Allcyte’s platform by achieving a 55% overall response rate and statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival over the prior line of therapy for patients that were treated following the platform’s recommendation.
In a post hoc analysis, patients receiving therapy recommended by the platform showed significantly improved outcomes compared to their prior treatments (clinical benefit hazard ratio of 0.53; p=0.005), whereas patients who received treatments other than the platform recommended therapy showed worse outcomes (clinical benefit hazard ratio of 1.4; p=0.4).
By joining Exscientia, Allcyte’s platform will be significantly expanded and extended into early discovery so that these ground-breaking technologies are 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.
“Allcyte is able to demonstrate what therapy actually works in the individual patient with the most disease relevant screening platform we have seen.”, said Andrew Hopkins, Exscientia’s CEO. “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.”
Commenting on the acquisition, Nikolaus Krall, Allcyte CEO, added, “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.”
The transaction is currently being reviewed under the customary Austrian regulatory process prior to closing. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Exscientia will pay €50 million, comprised of cash and Exscientia ordinary shares. Exscientia plans to expand the Vienna site as its hub in the European Union.
Exscientia is an AI-driven pharmatech company with offices in Oxford, Miami, Osaka and Dundee. It is the first company to progress AI-designed small molecules into the clinical setting and repeatedly demonstrate the ability of AI to transform how drugs are created. Exscientia’s AI platform has now designed three drugs that are in Phase 1 human clinical trials.
Allcyte is a Vienna, Austria-based precision medicine company whose technology is designed to select the most promising drug candidates for clinical development. It is the first AI platform to successfully improve cancer patient outcomes in a clinical trial.