Oxford Uni spin-out raises £2.2m to advance drug discovery programme


An Oxford University spin-out biotech company has raised £2.2 million in funding to advance its drug discovery programme to the next level.

The combined funding in Oxford Drug Design (ODD) came from the Angel CoFund (ACF), o2h Ventures and other new investment, alongside grant funding from the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) UK-China research competition.

This brings ODD’s total amount of grant and equity funding raised in 2019 to over £9 million.

The latest capital will allow the company 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-microbial resistance (AMR) in humans and animals.

In partnership with the University of Portsmouth and Chinese partners Huazhong Agricultural University and Wuhan HVSEN Biotechnology, the project aims to discover and develop novel small molecule drugs, traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) and TCM components for the treatment of bacterial infections in pigs using an approach that minimises the risk of development of resistance to antibiotics used for the treatment of people.

ODD CEO Paul Finn said: ”This latest funding further validates our computational design-led focus that has enabled rapid progress in building 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.”