GHP Q4 2019

24 GHP / Q4 2019 , Oxford Drug Design Boosts Funding With Investment From The Angel CoFund Oxford University biotech spin-out receives over £2million to take its drug discovery programme to the next level. Oxford Drug Design Limited ( ODD), a bio- technology company with a proprietary computational and machine learning platform, has raised a combined £2.2M in funding from the Angel CoFund (ACF), o2h Ventures and other new investors, and grant funding from the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC)’s UK-China research competi- tion. This brings the firm’s total amount of grant and equity fund- ing raised in 2019 to over £9M. This growth capital will enable ODD to further its drug research and discovery efforts, with the DHSC grant specifically funding its latest project to develop cutting-edge solutions that will tackle critical issues of anti-mi- crobial resistance (AMR) in humans and animals. In partnership with the Univer- sity of Portsmouth and Chinese partners Huazhong Agricultural University and Wuhan HVSEN Biotechnology Co. Ltd, this pro- ject aims to discover and develop novel small molecule drugs, traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) and TCM components for the treatment of bacteri- al infections in pigs using an approach that minimizes the risk of development of resistance to antibiotics used for the treatment of people. Earlier this year the firm recently won prestigious grants from CARB-X, a global partner- ship dedicated to accelerating antibacterial research to tackle the rising threat of drug-resistant bacteria, and another award from DHSC to advance its lead anti- bacterial project with a combined value of over £7M. Paul Finn, CEO of Oxford Drug Design said: ”This latest funding further validates our computa- tional design-led focus that has enabled rapid progress in build- ing our pipeline of novel antibiotic programmes. We are excited to be working with partners in the UK and China to develop a novel solution to the major challenge of supporting animal health without contributing to the rise of AMR in human infections, with potential benefits food production and human health worldwide.” Tim Mills, Investment Director of the Angel CoFund said: “The team at Oxford Drug Design are advancing swiftly with their programme, and winning major international funding and attract- ing private equity funding provide strong validation of the work they are undertaking. Antimicrobial re- sistance is a growing issue for the global healthcare system which only a small number of innovative companies are working to solve, so we are delighted to support ODD’s pioneering efforts.” The research at the Universi- ty of Portsmouth is being led by microbiologist Dr Roger Draheim. He said “There is a degree of urgency to overcome increased resistance to many commonly prescribed drugs and it is very exciting to be working on developments that could directly limit the initial genera- tion of resistance at its source. This funding also further lends credibility to our in-house small molecule high-throughput in vivo screening strategies.”