Oxford Drug Design (ODD) wins major funding awards from CARB-X, the UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and an equity investment led by o2h Ventures totalling over £8m to develop new antibiotics effective against drug-resistant superbugs and to expand its proprietary machine learning computational platform.
Oxford, UK, 18thJune, 2019– Oxford Drug Design Limited, a biotechnology company with a proprietary computational and machine learning platform, announced today that CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Accelerator) has agreed to back their lead in-house discovery project with a milestone dependent, non-dilutive, award for over £5M. In parallel, the project will be further accelerated by an award of £2M from DHSC through their Small Business Research Initiative funding stream. At the same time, o2h Ventures, which launched Britain’s first therapeutics and AI EIS fund earlier this year, led an equity investment into ODD.
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.
Drug-resistant superbugs are on the rise worldwide and represent a threat to global public health and health security.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 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.”