Masterclass to highlight Dundee spinout’s global success


28th October 2019

The founder of one of the world’s most exciting new technology companies will share his story with the next generation of business leaders at the University of Dundee.

Professor Andrew Hopkins, CEO of AI drug discovery firm Exscientia, will detail how over seven years he has utilised Artificial Intelligence (AI) to establish a company that is expected to become a tech unicorn.

He will be the latest leader from the world of enterprise to deliver an Entrepreneurial Masterclass as part of the University’s Centre for Entrepreneurship lecture series on Wednesday 30 October.

Brian McNicoll, Head of the Centre, said, “Andrew is one of the most distinguished drug discovery scientists in the world and has found a way to successfully transfer his work in the laboratory to the boardroom.

“His career has seen him champion cutting edge technology in a supremely competitive industry, an approach that today sees him regarded as one of the most important figures in global drug research.

“Since being founded within our leading School of Life Sciences, Exscientia has successfully established partnerships throughout the world worth tens of millions of pounds. This is a global success story that has its roots firmly in this city and Andrew’s masterclass will provide a fascinating insight as to how others can follow his lead in taking Scottish business to the world.”

Founded as a spinout from the University in 2012, Exscientia was the first company to use Artificial Intelligence to automate drug design from idea to the pre-clinical candidate stage. Its advanced AI has the ability to significantly speed up drug development, an expensive undertaking for pharmaceutical companies, utilising data sets coupled with specialist knowledge from drug experts.

The company has developed relationships with some of the industry’s biggest names, including Celgene, GSK, Sanofi, and China’s GT Apeiron Therapeutics, and has recently established a subsidiary company in Japan.

Professor Hopkins’ Masterclass, ‘Building a Business to Transform Drug Discovery,’ takes place in the Medical Sciences Institute, Dow Street, on Wednesday 30 October from 3.30-5pm. All are welcome to attend. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance online.

University of Dundee

Nobel Prize winning poet and honorary graduate Seamus Heaney has described the University of Dundee as ‘having its head in the clouds and its feet firmly on the ground.’ The ability to be both aspirational and down-to earth and to blend ground-breaking intellectual achievement with practical applications, has given the University its distinctive character.

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