Edinburgh-based Frontier IP, a specialist in commercialising university intellectual property, announced that its portfolio company Exscientia Limited has filed a registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for a proposed initial public offering (IPO).
Exscientia, an AI-driven drug discovery firm, was originally a spinout company from the University of Dundee and now has offices in Oxford, Dundee, Miami and Osaka.
Reports in US trade publications said the IPO would have an initial $100 million in estimated proceeds and that Exscientia plans to list on NASDAQ under the symbol EXAI.
Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BofA Securities and Barclays are said to be the joint bookrunners on the IPO.
Investors in Exscientia include SoftBank Vision Fund and Blackrock.
On September 7, Exscientia announced a $70 million collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop anti-viral therapeutics against Coronavirus and other viruses with pandemic potential.
“The registration statement relating to the share securities has been filed with the SEC but has not yet become effective …” said Frontier IP.
“At this stage there can be no certainty on the IPO proceeding nor the terms or timing of the IPO.”
On the Gates Foundation collaboration, Exscientia CEO Andrew Hopkins said on September 7: “The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic underscores the urgency to develop safe and effective broad-spectrum drugs to expand our armoury against viruses and their variants.
“We need to fight today’s pandemic but also ensure we are prepared with new drugs to combat viruses with future pandemic potential.
“We are honoured to work alongside the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance this mission by ensuring accessibility and affordability of these therapeutics globally.
“We believe that our AI-driven platform can accelerate the creation of better, more effective therapeutics that can address some of the world’s most critical and emerging health risks.”
Denise Barrault, director of portfolio management at Exscientia, said: “Small molecule therapeutics could provide a superior approach to guard global health.
“Certain targets are prevalent across families of viruses, meaning that potent therapeutics could be broadly effective across multiple virus families.
“Further, this collaboration will focus on evaluating protein targets that are evolutionarily conserved and are less likely to develop resistance.”