Oxford Drug Design Limited (ODD), a biotechnology company with a proprietary computational and machine learning platform, has raised $2.7M (£2.2M) in funding from existing investors ACF Investors, o2h Ventures, Jonathan Milner, a number of returning angels and new investors and the US-based R42 Group. This brings the firm’s total amount of grant and equity funding to over $12 M (£10M).

A spinout of Oxford University, ODD has been at the forefront of computer-aided drug design with its pioneering, dual-track AI proprietary platform for drug discovery. The company has recently entered an oncology expansion phase accelerated by its two core competencies: world-leading expertise in the versatile aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase enzymes and its AI/machine learning computational capabilities. These capture molecular and biological features which enable machine learning models with increased predictive power and accuracy of molecule selection. The company is currently focused on unmet therapeutic needs in oncology, initially against lung and colorectal cancers.

This growth capital will enable ODD to further its drug research and discovery starting with a proof-of-concept study to validate its pioneering, innovative approach against cancer. It will also establish a new commercial offering of its proprietary AI platform to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. OOD’s validated platform is in increasing demand from third parties in the pharmaceutical space and is already generating revenue separately from the company’s direct work in oncology drug discovery. The investment will also go towards operational purposes and further expansion ahead of a Series A investment round this year.

Alan D. Roth, CEO of Oxford Drug Design said: ”This latest funding will enable us to build on and accelerate our successful computational design-led discovery focus. We are excited to be playing a pivotal role in the innovation of oncological treatments leading to better outcomes for cancer patients worldwide. Our groundbreaking new approach stands to be initially validated by the proof-of-concept studies. We are achieving rapid progress not only with our industry-leading drug discovery programme, but also our proprietary AI platform. This has led to increasing interest from third parties in our machine learning capabilities, so we are keen to capitalise on this demand and establish a commercial effort in this area”.

Tim Mills, Managing Partner of ACF Investors said: “The team at Oxford Drug Design have created a pioneering platform that is enabling truly innovative drug discovery. It is exciting to see them initiating their proof-of-concept study. It is additionally no surprise that companies operating in the space have identified the opportunity of using its proprietary machine learning technology. We are delighted to continue to support ODD – It is a testament to the strength of the company’s technology and team that all of the existing investors and angels have participated in this follow-on round, which will supercharge their expansion globally and enable key strategic hires.”