UNITED KINGDOM – Oxford Drug Design Limited (ODD), a biotechnology company with a computational and machine learning platform, has raised US$2.7 million(£2.2M) in funding.

Backers in the round included ACF Investors, o2h Ventures, Meltwind Advisory, a number of returning angels and new investors and the US-based R42 Group.

This brings the firm’s total grant and equity funding to more than US$12 million (£10 million).

With its pioneering, dual-track AI proprietary platform for drug discovery, ODD, an Oxford University spinout, has been at the forefront of computer-aided drug design.

The company has recently entered an oncology expansion phase, which has been accelerated by its two core competencies: expertise in the versatile aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase enzymes and computational AI/machine learning capabilities.

These capture molecular and biological features, providing machine learning models with increased predictive power and molecule selection accuracy.

The company is currently focusing on unmet oncology therapeutic needs, initially against lung and colorectal cancers.

This growth capital will allow ODD to expand its drug research and discovery efforts, beginning with a proof-of-concept study to validate its novel approach to cancer treatment.

In addition, it will launch a new commercial offering of its AI platform to pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms.

OOD’s validated platform is in high demand from pharmaceutical third parties and is already generating revenue apart from the company’s direct work in oncology drug discovery.

The funds will also be used for operational purposes and further expansion in preparation for a Series A investment round later this year.

Alan D Roth, CEO, ODD, said: “This latest funding will enable us to build on and accelerate our successful computational design-led discovery focus. We’re excited to be playing a pivotal role in the innovation of oncological treatments leading to better outcomes for cancer patients worldwide.”

At the same time, clinical research platform uMotif has raised £20 million (US$25.1 million) from a New York investment firm.

The London-based company’s patient-first software platform is designed to service pharmaceutical, BioTech, MedTech, and contract research organization clients such as AstraZeneca.

It claims to deliver high rates of data capture, patient retention, data quality, and delivery speed in more than 30 countries around the world, allowing for faster, better trials.

The funds are managed by Athyrium Capital Management, which is based in New York. AlbionVC and DNV, which led a Series A investment round in 2020, have also joined.

It will fund additional international expansion as well as the continued development of patent-protected solutions for pain, clinical outcome, and symptom tracking.

uMotif’s North American team will significantly grow after entering the US in 2021, thanks to the support of a US-based healthcare investor. This includes sales, marketing, and service delivery.

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