Participant Profile: Exscientia

Working at the forefront of small molecule drug discovery.

Participant Profile: Exscientia  Working at the forefront of small molecule drug discovery.

Exscientia is the first company to actually automate drug design, surpassing conventional human endeavor. With the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and big data resources, Exscientia is accelerating the speed of drug development.

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How Exscientia uses artificial intelligence to boost drug discovery

Exscientia’s AI-driven systems actively learn best practice from vast repositories of discovery data and are further enhanced with knowledge acquired from seasoned drug hunters. By harnessing the power of big data, the company has better information at hand than any researcher could acquire individually.

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Meet the team

Exscientia, The Hive - Andrew Hopkins CEO

Andrew Hopkins


Andrew spent 10 years at Pfizer, where he was responsible for establishing new research foci including the concepts of druggability and network pharmacology. Andrew has raised $50 million for academic and commercial research activities in his role as Chair of Medicinal Informatics at the University of Dundee. He is the author of some of the most highly cited papers in modern drug discovery.

Richard Bickerton CIO, Exscientia - The Hive

Richard Bickerton


Richard completed his PhD from the University of Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Sir Tom Blundell FRS FMedSci. Prior to this he was a Senior Scientist at Inpharmatica, a London-based biotech, for 5 years. In 2012 after joining the University of Dundee, Richard received the College of Life Sciences Innovator of the Year Award 2012.

Andy Bell Chief Chemist, Exscientia - The Hive

Andy Bell

Chief Chemist

One of the world’s leading medicinal chemists, Andy is a co-inventor of sildenafil and a contributor to the development of voriconazole. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and was awarded the Technical Achievement Award in Organic Chemistry by the American Chemical Society, in recognition for his considerable contributions to medicinal chemistry.

Andy Bell Chief Chemist, Exscientia - The Hive

Jérémy Besnard

Chief Technology Officer

Jérémy is a co-inventor of the original Exscientia technology for the Automated Design of ligands to Polypharmacological Profiles, developed during his PhD and published in Nature. He graduated with a French “Diplôme d’Ingénieur Chimiste” from The Ecole Nationale Superieure de Chimie de Montpellier and gained a MSc in Chemical Biology from the University of Montpellier II in 2008.

Mark Swindells COO, Exscientia - The Hive

Mark Swindells


Mark spent 7 years working in Japan at the Protein Engineering Research institute in Osaka, Yamanouchi Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. (now Astellas) and Helix Research Institute. Returning to the UK, he worked at Inpharmatica Ltd, a biotech company focusing on knowledge-based drug discovery.

Senga Oxenham  Executive Officer, Exscientia - The Hive

Senga Oxenham

Executive Officer

After a career in research at the University of Dundee, first studying protein phosphorylation and then reproductive health, Senga moved into Project Management and Administration, covering multiple international projects.


"Exscientia plans to use Scopus and ScienceDirect to access and alert on the scientific literature, and we’ll use Pathway Studio for exploration of the literature findings, helping us to build pathway-based views of disease. This will be vital in supporting the development of our internal portfolio. In addition to the existing commercial applications we hope to work with Elsevier on building early use cases and investigating quality control for the knowledge graph. Application of network inference and machine learning methods to such a rich knowledge source should take our target identification efforts to the next level." Daniel Crowther, Head of Target Analysis
"Access to Reaxys should greatly facilitate our compound design, optimisation and synthesis activities. In addition to helping with the model building, the inclusion of patent data in Reaxys will also support evaluation of novelty and help to answer, 'freedom to operate' questions." Jérémy Bernard, Chief Technology Officer
"Understanding the therapeutic potential of targets both in their own right and as parts of networks is a major question for developing a drug discovery portfolio. Access to the Hive will allow us to build on top of our existing pharmacology data repositories to assess and prosecute new drug discovery programs." From Mark Swindells, Chief Operating Officer

Learn more about Elsevier's R&D solutions for drug discovery
and development utilized by Exscientia:


Improve R&D productivity with a chemistry research solution that delivers experimental facts on chemical structures, properties, reactions and procedures.
Learn more about Reaxys

Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry

Empower hit identification and lead optimization with normalized compound–target affinity data and comprehensive pharmacokinetic, efficacy, toxicity, safety and metabolic profiles.
Learn more about Reaxys Medicinal Chemistry


Increase the discovery of biomedical evidence to support critical life sciences functions, with access to the world's most comprehensive biomedical literature database.
Learn more about Embase


Enable better informed preclinical drug safety decisions with comprehensive, fully searchable FDA/EMA drug approval documents and comparative extracted drug safety data.
Learn more PharmaPendium


Enable researchers to more effectively and efficiently search authoritative, full-text scientific, technical and health content through the use of smart, intuitive functionality.
Learn more about ScienceDirect

Pathway Studio

Enable better understanding of biological processes underlying disease progression and treatment response, with a solution that helps researchers interpret experimental data from scientific literature.
Learn more about Pathway Studio


Help researchers discover trends, partners and experts with the world’s largest abstract & citation database of peer-reviewed literature, including tools to track, analyze and visualize research.
Learn more about Scopus