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The o2h Therapeutics and AI Fund makes investment in early stage biotechnology company

Cambridge, UK, 28 March 2019. The o2h Therapeutics Fund & AI (“The Fund”), an early stage S/EIS fund investing in biotechnology therapeutic and related AI opportunities, is pleased to announce an investment in Exonate, an early stage biotechnology company.

The Fund participated in the fourth round of fundraising for Exonate, which has successfully raised £1.5 million. Other investors included: Angel CoFund; Australian venture fund Uniseed; University of Bristol Enterprise Fund, managed by Parkwalk; Martlet of Cambridge; Wren Capital; and, further angel investors. Exonate has raised approximately £9 million in total to date.

The fundraising will be used to accelerate the development of Exonate’s lead product, an eye drop for the treatment of retinal neovascular diseases.

Sunil Shah, CEO of o2h Ventures, who manages The Fund alongside Prashant Shah, Managing Partner, said: “We are very pleased with this investment, the fund’s third, and are delighted to join other leading investors in this round. Exonate’s strategy is to introduce a revolutionary, game-changing topical eye drop for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases”.

“The company has already achieved a key milestone with the nomination of its preferred compound for pre-clinical development and this should enter clinical trials in 2020.”

Dr Catherine Beech, CEO of Exonate, added: “Sunil Shah has been the Chairman of Exonate since its incorporation and we are now delighted to have the o2h Therapeutics Fund as an investor. The Fund has deep working relationship within the pharmaceutical industry which can be leveraged to our shareholders’ advantage.”

The Fund is in the process of making further investments in some of the sector’s most exciting early-stage biotechnology companies.

 

o2h Ventures Exonate

(image source: www.exonate.com)

About o2h Ventures:

o2h Ventures Limited has launched the o2h Therapeutics fund which is the first S/EIS fund in the UK solely focused on early stage biotech therapeutics and related AI opportunities. The geographic scope shall be UK wide including Oxford and London but will target the growing Cambridge biotech cluster. The Fund is structured to be S/EIS compliant providing tax breaks for UK taxpayers.

The biotech sector is one of the leading sectors in the UK economy.  The large pharma companies now rely on the small innovative biotech’s for new ideas in disease areas such as cancer, genomics, anti-ageing and neurosciences amongst others which has led to higher potential exit valuations. The Fund will widen the community of investors that will help expand early stage research in the UK.

The o2h team are leaders in the biotech community and have been actively involved as investors, holding various board/industry positions as well as being engaged in grassroots scientific activity for over 20 years.  o2h operate from their proprietary 2.7 acre o2h SciTech Park where they have developing a unique model for incubating small life science companies.

More information is available here: http://www.o2h.com/ventures  

Contact:

Ajit Singh

Marketing and PR, o2h Ventures Ltd

ajit@o2h.com

About Exonate:

Exonate is a privately held, early stage, biotech company spun out of the University of Nottingham that is focused on alternative splicing of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) in ophthalmology. Exonate’s lead programme is focused on Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO). A consequence of diabetic retinopathy, DMO, is swelling in an area of the retina called the macula and wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wAMD), which is the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 and older.  The Company is founded on scientific excellence with strong links to Professor David Bates and his lab at Nottingham University specialising in the biology and biochemical pathways of VEGF splice variants.

Exonate have developed small molecules that inhibit production of pro-angiogenic VEGF through selective inhibition of serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 (SRPK1)-mediated VEGF splicing.  These inhibitors have already demonstrated superior efficacy as topical agents in preclinical models of wet AMD. Through a Wellcome Trust funded project, Exonate will complete an optimisation programme to nominate a pre-clinical candidate drug with optimal characteristics ahead of regulatory toxicology and safety pharmacology studies which will support an application to the regulatory authorities for clinical evaluation.  Exonate expects to reach this milestone and enter the clinic in early 2020.

Exonate is led by an experienced, international management team that has previously worked together with cross-disciplinary experience in medicine and drug development, as well as successful fundraising for early stage companies.

About Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO)*:

DMO is the build-up of fluid (Oedema) in a region of the retina called the macula. The macula is important for the sharp, straight-ahead vision that is used for reading, recognising faces, and driving. DMO is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetic retinopathy. About half of all people with diabetic retinopathy will develop DMO and although it is more likely to occur as diabetic retinopathy worsens, DMO can happen at any stage of the disease.

About wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD):

Today, wet AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 years or older and affects more than 30 million patients worldwide, over 200,000 of those in the UK alone. If untreated patients are likely to lose sight in the affected eye within 24 months of disease onset.

The main currently available treatment options for DMO and wet AMD are:

  • anti-VEGF antibody drugs – to prevent the growth of new blood vessels in the eye. Unlike small molecule drugs or eye drops these treatments must be injected into the eye once every 1 or 2 months. Resistance can develop to these drugs causing the disease to progress anew.
  • Laser surgery – to destroy abnormal blood vessels in the eye. This type of surgery is only suitable if blood vessel damage is not too extensive and if the abnormal blood vessels aren’t close to the fovea, as performing surgery close to this part of the eye can cause permanent vision loss.
  • With DMO, Corticosteroids either injected or implanted into the eye, may be used alone or in combination with other drugs or laser surgery to treat DMO.

 

*source: https://nei.nih.gov/health/diabetic/retinopathy

More information is available here: http://www.exonate.com

2% off the initial fee for The o2h Therapeutics and AI S/EIS Fund

We are grateful to our early investors of The o2h Therapeutics and AI EIS Fund and should they wish to increase their participation in the upcoming deals we have put forward an offer for them to invest before the end of the tax year on April 5th with a 50% reduction in the initial fee from 4% to 2%. If any of our existing investors wish to refer us to other friends, family or colleagues then we shall be able to also offer them an opportunity to invest at the reduced initial fee of 2% as well as offer the referrer a ticket to a high level-sporting event.

If you are an existing investor and wish to top-up your current invested amount, send us an email at invest@o2h.com.

New investors may register by following this link- https://o2h.com/ventures

Sunil Shah, Managing Partner at o2h Ventures Ltd commented “We are really excited to launch the o2h ventures therapeutics fund. We see great deal flow through our hot network which is an accumulation of over 15 years of providing research services to this sector. The EIS benefits are a great way to invest in these fledgling businesses and access great British innovation in therapeutics whilst mitigating the risk through the tax benefits. We look forward to making our first investment in early 2019.”

For further queries and details, mail us at ajit@o2h.com 

Press Release – The o2h Therapeutics Fund makes its first investment

Cambridge, UK, 14 March 2019. The o2h Therapeutics Fund & AI (“The Fund”), an early stage S/EIS fund investing in biotech therapeutic and related AI opportunities, has made its first investment, backing DeepMatter Group Plc (“DeepMatter”), a big data company which is at the forefront of the digitization of chemistry.

DeepMatter Plc is based in Glasgow and is quoted on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM). The group has developed DigitalGlasswareTM, an artificial intelligence-enabled cloud-based software and hardware platform allowing chemistry experiments to be accurately and systematically recorded, coded and entered into a shared data cloud. This enables chemists to work together effectively, sharing the details of their experiments from anywhere and in real time, to help avoid work being needlessly duplicated, and ultimately so new discoveries may be made faster.

Sunil Shah, CEO of o2h Ventures, who manages the fund alongside Prashant Shah, Managing Partner, said: “This is a really exciting moment for us; this is the first of five exciting deals we hope to close in the next two months covering our unique scientific strengths in therapeutics and where AI meets therapeutics. This is the first Fund in the world specialising in early-stage therapeutics and enabling AI technology.”

“I have known Mark Warne, the CEO, for over a decade; he is an entrepreneur that we are delighted to be backing. DeepMatter is seeking to disrupt the established chemistry sector and provide intelligent information to pharmaceutical chemistry companies, which is a multibillion-dollar industry. We have evaluated many AI companies in this space and believe that DeepMatter is in a strong position to collect the volume of training data required for autonomous machine learning.”

Mark Warne, CEO of DeepMatter, said: “We are delighted that o2h Ventures has recognised that AI has a huge role to play in the way that pharmaceutics chemistry is carried and the confidence that they have in our platform. The investment allows us to continue cementing DeepMatter’s long-term development strategy, providing funding that ensures we remain at the forefront of the digitization of chemistry.”

Editor’s Note

About o2h Ventures:

o2h Ventures Limited has launched the o2h Therapeutics fund which is the first S/EIS fund in the UK solely focused on early-stage biotech therapeutics and related AI opportunities. The geographic scope shall be UK wide including Oxford and London but will target the growing Cambridge biotech cluster. The fund is structured to be S/EIS compliant providing tax breaks for UK taxpayers.

The biotech sector is one of the leading sectors in the UK economy. The large pharma companies now rely on the small innovative biotechs for new ideas in disease areas such as cancer, genomics, anti-ageing and neurosciences amongst others which has led to higher potential exit valuations. The fund will widen the community of investors that will help expand early-stage research in the UK.

The o2h team are leaders in the biotech community and have been actively involved as investors, holding various board/industry positions as well as being engaged in grassroots scientific activity for over 20 years. o2h operate from their proprietary 2.7 acres o2h SciTech Park where they have developing a unique model for incubating small life science companies.

More information is available here: http://www.o2h.com/ventures

Contact:

Ajit Singh

Marketing and PR

ajit@o2h.com

 

About DeepMatter:

DeepMatter Group Plc is a big data and analysis company which has built a platform – DigitalGlassware™, focused on enabling reproducibility in chemistry. It continues to develop this software to deliver applications resulting in new optimised chemicals, materials and formulations in such commercially significant areas as pharmaceutical research, fine chemicals, scientific publications and teaching. DeepMatter is at the forefront of the digitization of chemistry, which will ultimately see the enabling of an autonomous synthesis engine, the Chemputer™.

More information is available here: http://www.deepmattergroup.com

Contact:

Mark Warne

CEO, DeepMatter

enquiries@deepmatter.io