Drug design company receives over £8m in grant and equity investment

Oxford Drug Design Company

Oxford Drug Design has revealed that it has secured funds, totalling over £8m, from CARB-X, the UK Department of Health and Social Care Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) and equity investment led by o2h Ventures.

These funds will be used to advance our dual-target aminoacy-tRNA synthetase inhibitor (DaaRSi) project, which is developing new antibiotics effective against drug-resistant ‘Superbugs’ and to continue development of our proprietry machine learning platform to tackle other valuable pharmaceutical targets.

CARB-X, the world’s largest public-private partnership focused on funding the advancement of Gram-negative antibiotics, has agreed to back the DaaRSi project with a milestone dependent, non-dilutive, award for over £5m. This will be further accelerated by an award of £2M from the DHSC SBRI funding stream and equity investment led by o2h Ventures, which launched Britain’s first therapeutics and AI fund earlier this year

The combined funds will be used to advance its Dual-Target aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetase inhibitor (DaaRSi) project, which is developing new antibiotics effective against drug-resistant ‘Superbugs’ and to continue to develop the machine learning platform to tackle other valuable pharmaceutical targets

According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 700,000 people die each year worldwide from bacterial infections. In the United States, an estimated 23,000 people die each year from drug-resistant bacterial infections. In Europe, the number of deaths yearly is estimated at 33,000.

Oxford Drug Design is based at Oxford Centre for Innovation. Its CEO, Paul Finn, said: “To win these two highly competitive awards is a remarkable success and a tremendous validation of the strength of our science and its potential to deliver a new antibiotic to treat drug resistant bacterial infections. The funding provided by DHSC and CARB-X will significantly accelerate the development of our series of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitors. We are also delighted to be supported by o2h Ventures, who have been instrumental to the success of the equity funding round. Multiple compound series have been identified with the aid of our innovative cheminformatics and machine learning technologies. These compounds represent new classes of antibiotics with activity against Gram-negative organisms, an area of critical unmet medical need for which the clinical development pipeline is very limited.”