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Welsh university professor becomes one of UK’s richest businessmen


A Welsh university professor has become one of the UK’s richest businessmen. 

Andrew Hopkins, 49, has amassed a paper fortune of £338m after his drug discovery company Exscientia floated in New York on the Nasdaq with a valuation of £2.1billion. 

On the rich list: Andrew Hopkins has amassed a paper fortune of £338m after his drug discovery company Exscientia floated in New York on the Nasdaq

He owns 18.6m shares – or 15.8 per cent of the company – but is not selling any of them. Neath-born Hopkins, a former Pfizer executive, founded the business in 2012, spinning it out of the University of Dundee, where he is still a professor. 

The firm uses artificial intelligence to develop medicines, most recently for the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. 

The company is based on the Oxford Science Park and over the past couple of years it has struck partnerships with major drug companies including GSK.

In July, it received a £1.1m grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a Covid treatment that works for new variants. 

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