Our innovative pipeline is expanding to focus on cancer based on our core competence platforms

Strong platform in aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases

Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase enzymes (aaRS) play a key role in protein synthesis within all living organisms. They also have key biological functions beyond protein synthesis, known as non-canonical functions, which include other essential processes like signalling and regulation.


Our extensive expertise in aaRS enzymes is a distinctive core competence of Oxford Drug Design.


Combined with our ML computational methods, also trained on the aaRS enzyme family,  this deep platform enables our more rapid and effective design and development of new therapeutics against multiple diseases where aaRS play key roles. We are focusing first on cancer.


In our platform validation programme against urgent resistant infections, we use have proven our design strategy having successfully developed multiple novel chemotypes vs tRNA synthetases.

New approach against cancer

We are applying our expertise in chemistry and biology on tRNA synthetases to design and develop novel agents against cancer.


tRNA synthetases are involved in regulating pathways that are used by cancer cells to drive their proliferation. We are therefore strongly positioned to build on our expertise and advance efficiently in the area, supported by our machine learning capabilities.


There are many potential applications in cancer, with our initial indications being in lung and colorectal tumours.

Platform validated designing novel antibiotics

Our dual core competence platform combining our tRNA synthetase expertise with proprietary AI-based design methods has been validated.


Using generous grant funding, we successfully applied it to the rapid discovery of promising anti-infectives showing positive activity and resistance parameters across two distinct programmes.


Oxford Drug Design used the state-of-the-art drug design techniques in aaRS inhibition – coupled with our machine learning technologies – to tackle the rising threat of dangerous resistant pathogens which kill 700,000 people each year. Our focus was resistant, lethal organisms identified by the WHO and the US CDC as urgent and serious threats to public health.


A second programme has been directed toward the urgent need for new veterinary anti-infectives that can be used to ensure economically viable food supply without increasing antimicrobial resistance in humans. We have used a novel target enzyme class and designed new chemical scaffolds for which no resistance has yet developed. The effectiveness of our compounds against the resistant organisms is therefore maximised.


Our antibiotic work has been funded internationally by CARB-X and Innovate UK.