UK biotech secures £8m to scale up new antibiotics

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UK biotech, Oxford Drug Design (ODD), has secured more than £8 million to help develop new antibiotics effective against drug-resistant superbugs.

£5 million of the funding was awarded by CARB-X (Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Accelerator), with £2 million coming from DHSC via its Small Business Research Initiative funding stream.

At the same time, o2h Ventures, which launched Britain’s first therapeutics and AI fund earlier this year, led an equity investment into ODD.

The combined funds will be used to advance the company’s 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.

“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,” said CEO Paul Finn.

“The funding provided by DHSC and CARB-X will significantly accelerate the development of our series of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase inhibitors.”

He added: 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.”