Novel: By Design

Oxford Drug Design

We develop new antibiotics with novel modes of action while focusing on ways to reduce the development of bacterial resistance. Our drug-design expertise and unique computational tools guide us to the areas of chemical space that yield antibacterial activity.


Aminoacyl tRNA Synthetases

aaRS enzymes are a largely untapped source of novel antibiotics. We have identified three classes of inhibitors of aaRS enzymes which have antibiotic activity against critical Gram-negative pathogens (such as E. coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae) whilst maintaining activity against strains resistant to standard antibiotics.


Histidine Kinases

HKs form part of the sensory and signalling network in bacteria and control factors such as virulence and motility. As part of the CARTNET consortium, we are developing novel classes of compounds to inhibit multiple bacterial histidine kinases with the aim of reducing the development of resistance.

Using a combination of proprietary in-house computational tools and commercial software we can predict the properties and activity of compounds prior to synthesis. This allows us to overcome a key hurdle in reducing the costs of the drug discovery process.


Machine Learning

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are starting to play a key role in the drug-discovery process.  We are applying these algorithms to public and private datasets to enhance our understanding of antibacterial activity by extracting hidden patterns in the data.


Virtual Screening

Our proprietary 3D ElectroShape technology captures the complexities of a compound’s molecular shape and charge distribution in a simple manner. Using ElectroShape we can perform rapid virtual screening and analogue searching for a million compounds every second.

About Us

Oxford Drug Design is an innovative biotechnology company spun out from Professor Graham Richards’ group at the University of Oxford in 2001.


The company has developed rapid, state-of-the-art virtual screening and ligand analogue searching technologies. Building on this platform, the company is now applying machine learning techniques such as neural networks and topological data analysis to help further the drug discovery process.


Utilising this technology, the company has developed a number of novel antibiotics programmes.


Prof. Graham Richards speaks to Biospring

Prof. Graham Richards recently spoke to Dr. Michelle Dipp, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Biospring, on the topic of computer-aided molecular design.

October 16, 2020

Oxford Drug Design shortlisted for CogX 2020 award for ‘Best AI Product in Health’

Oxford Drug Design is proud to have been shortlisted for this year’s CogX award for ‘Best AI product in health’. CogX is an annual festival of AI and emerging tech that brings together leaders, entrepreneurs, and policy makers from all sectors to address the problems of the future. CognitionX aims to educate and promote AI […]

June 8, 2020

Meet ODD at these spring events

Unfortunately due to COVID-19 the events listed have been cancelled. We look forward to meeting you at future events. Oxford Drug Design will be presenting at four events over the next two months: Gordon Research Conference “Disruptive Antibiotics and non-Antibiotic Therapies to Combat Drug-Resistant Bacterial Infections”, 1-6 March, Lucca, Italy.  This is one of the […]

February 19, 2020