Exscientia has received $225m in Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, alongside existing investors Novo Holdings and funds managed by Blackrock.

Also, Mubadala Investment Company, Farallon Capital, Casdin Capital, GT Healthcare Capital, Marshall Wace, Pivotal bioVenture Partners, Laurion Capital, Hongkou and Bristol-Myers Squibb have participated in the funding round.

In relation to the investment round, SoftBank is also committed to providing an additional equity investment of up to $300m, at Exscientia’s discretion.

SoftBank Investment Advisers managing partner Eric Chen said: “We believe Exscientia’s innovative use of AI to discover and design better quality drugs with greater efficiency has the potential to create important medicines faster than ever before.

“With the convergence of technology and biology, drug discovery is rapidly evolving in ways that will reshape the industry.  The Exscientia team have been leaders in AI-based drug discovery since the field’s inception and we believe they will continue shaping its future.”

Exscientia intends to use the funding to advance its pipeline through clinical testing along with expanding its technology platform towards autonomous drug design.

Its technology platform evaluates the target and mechanism through high content phenomics, novel biophysics and deep learning from biological data, said the company.

The current funding round follows the company’s Series C investment round closed at $100m last month, joined by funds managed by BlackRock.

The UK-based clinical-stage pharma tech company leverages artificial intelligence (AI) across its platform to discover and precisely engineer new medicines, optimised for each patient.

It has created and integrated a range of AI and experimental technologies to capture and utilise the most patient-relevant data to support its precision drug design.

With the first two fully AI-designed drugs advanced into clinical trials, the company currently has more than 20 active programmes in its pipeline.

Exscientia CEO Andrew Hopkins said: “All of our investors share Exscientia’s vision to discover better drugs, faster, through AI and automation.

“Our patient-first AI platform has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to precision design drugs that address patients’ needs.

“With the Series D completed, the quality and depth of our shareholder base allows us the freedom to continue to scale both our platform and pipeline.”