This appointment comes following a year of high growth for Exscientia which in May announced it had secured $60 million in a Series C financing round. This funding is being used to expand the company’s existing portfolio and pipeline by launching new projects and expanding AI as part of its capabilities.
Garry joins Exscientia with more than 25 years’ worth of experience in drug hunting and technology leadership. He will be responsible for focusing Exscientia’s technology towards becoming the most efficient drug discovery organisation in the world.
Prior to joining Exscientia, Garry was Vice President of Hit Discovery at AstraZeneca and Chair of the Global Chemistry Leaders Network where he was responsible for implementing strategic initiatives and collaborations. During his time at AstraZeneca, he championed developments in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and physics based computational methods, ultimately leading to the company’s “Augmented Drug Design” programme. He also established an automation facility in Gothenburg, dedicated to synthesis and integrated screening.
His prior experience in the drug hunting space means that Exscientia’s leadership team now has experience of discovering a total of three marketed drugs. For example, he was part of the team that discovered the life-saving cardiovascular drug Brilinta® (ticagrelor) for which he was a co-recipient of the Malcolm Campbell award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. This and other work on multiple clinical candidate projects has allowed him to appreciate the importance of rapidly identifying the best possible starting points for a discovery project.
Andrew Hopkins, CEO of Exscientia, said: “Garry has forged a long-standing impressive career that has combined real-life drug hunting with cutting edge Computational and AI techniques as well as robotics.
“He has the rarest of talents of both a deep understanding of the problems of drug discovery and a drive to lead the development of new AI and automation approaches to solve those problems. We are delighted that he has joined us to help accelerate our mission to apply effective AI and automation to revolutionise drug discovery”.
Garry said, “It is exciting to be joining a company whose committed mission is to use AI and automation to revolutionise drug discovery at a global scale. Exscientia’s existing achievements, successfully applying innovative computational approaches to drug discovery, speak for themselves, so I am thrilled to be joining this talented team and I’m looking forward to the challenges that the new year brings”.