The U.S.-listed shares of Exscientia PLC EXAI soared 28.5% toward a record one-day gain, and enough to pace all premarket gainers on major U.S. exchanges, after the U.K.-based precision medicine company announced a collaboration with Germany-based Merck KGaA MKKGYXE:MRK for the discovery of drug candidates across oncology, neuroinflammation and immunology. The multi-year collaboration will utilize Exscientia’s drug design and discovery capabilities, which are driven by use of artificial intelligence. As part of the collaboration, Exscientia will receive an upfront payment of $20 million in cash, and will be eligible for up to $674 million in milestone payments. If a therapeutic is commercialized, Exscientia will receive tiered royalties on product sales. The stock has lost 5.1% year to date through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 SPX has gained 15.7%.

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