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Graduate Lecture – Exscientia Talk

09 Nov 18

Date:        Thursday 8th November, 3.30 pm in Large Lecture Theatre followed by pizza and beer in ground floor social area

Speaker:  Willem van Hoorn, Chief Decision Scientist, Exscientia

Title:         Disrupting Drug Discovery by automating intuition

Abstract:  Artificial Intelligence and machine learning are taking over the world. The process of discovering new drugs was thought, by practitioners, not to be amenable to AI disruption. At Exscientia we begged to differ and we are now the first company to have automated drug design. This was not done by throwing large amounts of data at a deep neural network and watch the magic happen. The real bottleneck in drug discovery is the medicinal chemist, who is confronted with both too much data (back-catalogue of 150 years of drug discovery) as well as too little data (few expensive data points are generated in a project). This led practitioners to believe drug discovery is an art where intuition plays a big role. We have built a platform that captures that intuition and shown that the typical drug discovery productivity can be dramatically improved. We are now at the end of traditional medicinal chemistry but not at the end of medicinal chemists, there is still a big role for the human! Although chemical structures will be shown no prior chemistry knowledge required to attend this talk.