Biotechnology Awards 2022

GHP / Biotechnology Awards 2022 19 , Jan22213 Privately held and situated within the heart of Oxford’s biotech innovation hub, Ochre Bio develops RNA therapies for chronic liver disease (a top ten cause of death) using a combination of genomics, machine learning and experimental biology on live human organs. We find out more about the company and its pioneering strategy as we speak to Co-Founder QuinWills in the wake of the organisation being named in the Global Health & Pharma Biotechnology Awards 2022. Leading Developer of Genomic Medicine 2022 Many donor livers are too unhealthy to be transplanted and go to waste, despite one in six patients dying while waiting for a new liver. The main reason for discarding a donor liver is that it contains too much fat and by 2030, it’s estimated that over half of donor livers will be discarded. Ochre Bio, which is led by cofounders Quin Wills and Jack O’Meara, uses a strategy called ‘deep phenomics’ to scan donated livers and digitise that info into a crunchable data set. Ochre Bio was founded out of 15 years of leading liver genomics research and experience in bringing advanced therapies to market. ‘Big data’ is delivering on its promise to improve drug development, with machine learning (AI) decoding disease much cheaper, and highthroughput workflows decoding network biology much faster. Ochre Bio’s approach is firmly rooted in such computational and systems-driven learning. However, its goal is also to decode substantially better, bringing an extra dimension to drug development data, called deep phenotyping. Deep phenotyping combines genetics, advanced tissue imaging, cellular genomics (single-cell and spatial sequencing), and AI to study disease and gene systems at a tissue level. Instead of working with animal models, the company goes straight to human livers that have been donated and deemed unfit for use in transplants. The group tests its siRNA therapies directly on those ‘explanted’ livers maintained outside the body. The company’s 100% human focus involves the deep phenotyping of human biobanks, deep phenotyping of genetically perturbed human micro-organs (in vitro) models and the deep phenotyping of diseased human organs perfused outside of the body. This 100% human approach to data provides a distinct advantage when studying complex age-associated and chronic diseases that require more than simple single-target therapies. With a highly specialised group of advisors, consultants, and investors to help craft its strategy, Ochre Bio is well-placed to continue on its successful journey. Its combination of US and European investors, with traditional life sciences as well as genomics and technology expertise, underscores the type of company that is being built. “We really love what we do and are always on the lookout for new team members who aren’t afraid to think out of the box,” Quin enthuses, in the wake of the firm being recognised in the Global Health & Pharma Biotechnology Awards and named Leading Developer of Genomic Medicine 2022. This award is truly a testament to the hard work that Ochre Bio does. Contact Details Contact: Quin Wills Company: Ochre Bio Web Address: