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Oxford Drug Design secures £2.2M to develop drugs against cancer using AI

Oxford Drug Design
Image credits: Oxford Drug Design

Oxford Drug Design Limited, a biotechnology company, announced on Thursday that it has raised £2.2M in funding. 

The round saw participation from existing investors ACF Investors, o2h Ventures, Meltwind Advisory, US-based R42 Group, and numerous returning angels and new investors. 

The latest round brings Oxford Drug Design’s total grant and equity funding to over £10M.

How will the funding be used?

The funding will enable the firm to enhance its drug research and discovery, starting with a proof-of-concept study to validate its innovative approach to cancer

The company also plans to commercialise its proprietary AI platform to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. 

The company will also use funds for operational purposes and further expansion ahead of a Series A investment round this year. 

Computer-aided drug design platform

Oxford Drug Design is originally a spin-out company from the Oxford University Chemistry Department by Professor Graham Richards OBE FRS.

The company designs and develops highly innovative small-molecule drugs against cancer-based on differentiated dual-core competencies. 

The Oxford-based company’s platform combines AI and machine learning methods with deep expertise in aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, accelerating advances in the discovery and development of oncology therapeutics with novel mechanisms of action. 

These capture molecular and biological features and enable machine learning models to increase predictive power and accuracy of molecule selection. 

The company is currently focused on unmet therapeutic needs in oncology, initially against lung and colorectal cancers.

Alan D. Roth, CEO of Oxford Drug Design says, ”This latest funding will enable us to build on and accelerate our successful computational design-led discovery focus. We are excited to be playing a pivotal role in the innovation of oncological treatments leading to better outcomes for cancer patients worldwide. Our groundbreaking new approach stands to be initially validated by the proof-of-concept studies. We are achieving rapid progress not only with our industry-leading drug discovery programme, but also with our proprietary AI platform. This has led to increasing interest from third parties in our machine learning capabilities, so we are keen to capitalise on this demand and establish a commercial effort in this area”. 

Investor

ACF Investors is a privately managed and commercially focused VC fund that works alongside business angels to invest in high potential SMEs across the UK, directly providing funding to support businesses.

To date, the company has supported 100 companies, including such names as Ebury, Gousto, Creo Medical, and Form3, providing more than £50M indirect investment alongside more than £300M from business angels and other investors

Tim Mills, Managing Partner of ACF Investors says, “The team at Oxford Drug Design has created a pioneering platform that is enabling truly innovative drug discovery. It is exciting to see them initiating their proof-of-concept study. It is additionally no surprise that companies operating in the space have identified the opportunity of using its proprietary machine learning technology. We are delighted to continue to support ODD – It is a testament to the strength of the company’s technology and a team that all of the existing investors and angels have participated in this follow-on round, which will supercharge their expansion globally and enable key strategic hires.”

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