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Metrion Biosciences Closes Funding Round- o2h Ventures

 

o2h ventures

• Includes investment from o2h Ventures Therapeutics S/EIS Fund
• Funding to support expansion of ion channel screening capabilities and continued research into potential drugs for auto-immune diseases

Cambridge, UK, 01 April 2019: Metrion Biosciences Ltd (“Metrion”), the specialist ion channel contract research and drug discovery company, announced today that it has completed a fully subscribed funding round on 14 March. Metrion will use the funds to support the broadening of its ion channel screening capabilities, and continued research into novel Kv1.3 inhibitors for the treatment of auto-immune conditions.

The new equity investment round was led by the recently launched o2h Ventures Therapeutics Fund, acting via Reyker Securities plc, and supported by existing shareholders. The o2h Ventures fund invests in early stage biotech therapeutic and related AI opportunities in the UK and focusses, in particular, on emerging companies in the growing Cambridge biotech cluster.

Keith McCullagh, Metrion’s chairman, said: “We are pleased to welcome both o2h Ventures Therapeutics Fund as a new shareholder and Sunil Shah, Managing Partner of o2h Ventures Ltd as an observer on the Metrion board.”

Sunil Shah, Managing Partner, o2h Ventures, commented: “We recognise the ion channel biology space as a potentially very valuable source of new drug targets, which is generating a great interest with pharma companies. The Metrion team has deep expertise, and the Company is emerging as a global leader in ion channel drug discovery.”

 

For Metrion

Katie Odgaard Zyme Communications
E-mail: katie.odgaard@zymecommunications.com
Tel: +44 (0)7787 502 947

For o2h Ventures

Ajit Singh Guller
Marketing and PR, o2h Ventures Ltd
E-mail: ajit@o2h.com

About Metrion Biosciences

Metrion Biosciences is a specialist ion channel contract research organisation and drug discovery business. The Company provides customers with access to a range of high quality ion channel assays on a fee-for-service or collaboration basis. Metrion Biosciences’ specialist ion channel expertise includes an industry leading panel of in vitro cardiac ion channel safety assays, translational native cell and phenotypic assays for neurological and cardiotoxicity testing, and a range of other ion channel screening services such as cell line development and optimisation. Metrion Biosciences is able to provide tailored assay formats, data analysis and reporting solutions, effective project management and quality assured data packages. For more information, see: www.metrionbiosciences.com

About o2h Ventures

o2h Ventures Limited has launched the o2h Therapeutics and AI 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 acre o2h SciTech Park where they are developing a unique model for incubating small life science companies.

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

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

o2h ventures limited has now launched the o2h therapeutics fund

o2h Ventures Limited, an investment firm based in Cambridge, UK, has now launched “the o2h
Therapeutics Fund” an early stage SEIS and/or EIS fund backing biotech therapeutic and related AI
opportunities with plug-in capabilities in Cambridge, UK/India and a bridge to the USA.

The investment focus of the fund will be therapeutic drug opportunities or technologies that enable drug discovery with an emphasis on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The geographic scope shall be UK wide but will target the growing Cambridge biotech cluster which is now the global headquarters of AstraZeneca, and is home
to many biotech companies some of which have subsequently been snapped up by large pharmaceutical companies.

Large pharmaceutical companies have been closing down research centers globally for the last decade. This shift in focus of the large pharmaceutical companies has moved them from developing innovation in-house to acquiring innovation externally, forcing up the prices for the best science and providing earlier exit opportunities. The team at o2h have access to the most exciting scientific ideas through its live working relationships fostered over many years working as a discovery services company. This gives us far earlier access than competitors to the most promising companies.

Early stage companies often need more than just money, o2h Ventures has built a unique integrated model for early stage companies which includes the possibility of offering companies incubation in its o2h SciTech Park, in Cambridge, UK, and/or the option to jump-start their research activity from o2h Discovery in Ahmedabad, India.

The Old Mill Warehouse – Incubation and co-working spaces and Hauxton House – o2h Ventures Global HQ.

The fund is structured to be S/EIS compliant providing generous income, inheritance and capital
gains tax breaks for UK tax payers.

Investors may download the investment memorandum at www.o2h.com/ventures

About o2h:

o2h seeds new ideas in science, technology and social enterprise. We work across boundaries and take a
collaborative and shared approach to innovation, and therefore we co-invest, co-create and co-execute to bring
these ideas to life. o2h is co-located in Ahmedabad, India and in Cambridge UK and has 6 verticals covering
Ventures, Co-work, Discovery Services, Therapeutics, Technology, and Community. Visit- www.o2h.com for more details.

Sunil Shah, CEO of o2h 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.

Contact:
Sunil Shah, Partner at o2h Ventures Limited
www.o2h.com/ventures

Mail- invest@o2h.com

Arecor secures £6M investment for the clinical development of its diabetes speciality pharma portfolio

“Investment will accelerate the delivery of significantly improved therapeutic treatments and quality of life for people living with diabetes”

Cambridge, UK., 10 September 2018: Arecor Ltd (“the Company”), the UK-based leader in developing superior biopharmaceuticals through the application of an innovative formulation technology platform, today announces that it has secured £6.0 million of investment from new and existing investors for the clinical development of the Company’s speciality pharma portfolio of proprietary diabetes products.

This £6.0 million equity investment into Arecor was led by leading UK institutional investors, Calculus Capital, Downing Ventures, and Albion Capital with significant participation from Arecor’s existing investors. BioScience Managers Limited, the international healthcare investment firm, advised Downing Ventures.

Arecor’s next-generation diabetes product pipeline represents exciting new progress in the field of diabetes that will enable important new treatment regimens and offer greater control of blood glucose to diabetes patients, which is key to improving outcomes and quality of life.

This pipeline includes:-

@ Proprietary formulations of analogues that are ultra-rapid acting and more closely match a healthy body’s physiological response to blood glucose, leading to better blood glucose (sugar) control – currently a significant challenge

@ Highly concentrated rapid acting optimised for the next generation of body-worn miniaturised delivery devices, including the artificial pancreas

@ Stable aqueous ready to use used in an emergency to treat severe hypoglycaemia and enabling future use in bi-hormonal artificial pancreas systems

These programmes will be progressed through development to demonstrate improved product profiles and health outcomes in human clinical trials.  In addition to these clinical programmes, the investment will allow Arecor to progress its pre-clinical pipeline of diabetes combination products, as well as a range of additional superior biotherapeutics addressing critical unmet needs in key disease areas.

The management of diabetes is one of the major global health challenges.  Indeed, the International Diabetes Federation (“IDF”) estimates that there are nearly half a billion (425 million) people currently living with diabetes around the world* and the IDF further estimates that if the global direct and indirect healthcare costs from diabetes are included, the economic impact of diabetes exceeds $1trillion**.

International Diabetes Federation. IDF Diabetes Atlas, 8th edition. International Diabetes Federation, 2017. Available at: http://www.diabetesatlas.org/

** Bommer C., Heesemann E., Sagalova V., et al. The global economic burden of diabetes in adults aged 20-79 years: a cost-of-illness study. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2017; 5: 423-30.

The improved products, therapeutic pathways and personalised control that Arecor’s products can enable, will make a significant contribution to addressing this challenge.   Arecor will be taking its product portfolio into clinical development itself, however, the Company will ultimately look to partner with specialist diabetes companies for late stage clinical studies and global market access.

The Company, which was originally based on unique protein chemistry technology and insights spun out from Unilever, has refined and developed these into the ArestatTM formulation technology platform. This platform has been used extensively to improve the solution properties of numerous protein, anti-body, vaccine and peptide formulations both in collaboration with pharmaceutical partners, as well as for Arecor’s own pipeline.  Arecor has established a proven track record in applying this technology platform to deliver superior biopharmaceutical product profiles across a broad range of therapeutic areas.

Dr Sarah Howell, Chief Executive Officer at Arecor, commented: “We are delighted to have secured the investment that we need to progress our lead diabetes programmes through the key stages of clinical development.  With diabetes reaching epidemic proportions worldwide and with close to half a billion people living with the condition today, the opportunity of advancing our diabetes products into human clinical trials and their potential to significantly improve the treatment of this debilitating disease, represents a very exciting and ground-breaking proposition”.

Alexander Crawford, Investment Director, Calculus Capital, added: Arecor is applying its unique and highly regarded reformulation technology which will help transform the growing diabetes market. As lead investor, we believe this is an exciting new phase from Arecor in the development of their technology and strong growth potential.”

Dr Christoph Ruedig, Partner, Albion Capital, said: “We have followed Arecor for some time and are excited by the societal value of its fast onset, short duration action. Its technology is highly differentiated and the Company is leading the sector in the area of stabilising liquid formulations for injectable drugs. We look forward to working with the strong leadership team to bring this extraordinary proposition to fruition and in doing so, aid many diabetic patients across the UK and beyond.”

Richard Lewis, Investment Director, Downing Ventures, concluded: “As an investment opportunity, Arecor combines a solid and high margin technology business alongside a proprietary product offering that fulfils major unmet medical need.  As a result, we believe that the diabetes pipeline should successfully attract quality international commercial partners. ”

Arecor is one of o2h Ventures’ investment.

Stemnovate secures funding from angels led by o2h ventures

Stemnovate which is advancing ‘organ on chip’ technology has closed its seed investment round with a team of eight angels led by team of o2h ventures, whose co-founder Sunil Shah is joining the board as chairman.Stemnovate specialises in stem cell research, cellular differentiation and microengineering. Its ‘liver on a chip’ technology has exciting potential for pre-clinical hepatotoxicity testing, replicating the microarchitecture and functions of the human liver and taking account of variation in patient’s individual genetic backgrounds.

Mr Shah, who is an MBA from Cambridge University is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded two companies in information technology and life sciences sector O2h ventures involves discovery services and collaboration, seeding drug discovery, academic in-licensing and bio-technology incubation.He said “current models for screening new drugs for liver toxicity are not predictive,there is an urgent need for the reliable screening technology before millions are invested into a clinical trial only to fail due to liver toxicity”.

For more information- Stemnovate Secure….

Watch o2h Ventures CEO Sunil Shah feature in the British Business Bank Finance Guide video

In January, Exonate, one of o2h venture’s investement, was approached by the British Business Bank to feature in a series of videos to highlight their Business Finance Guide. The British Business Bank and Angel Co Fund have provided valuable funding and support to Exonate and our investment was highlighted an excellent case study to promote the banks work.
Sunil Shah, CEO, o2h Ventures and Peter Cowley of Angel Co Fund were invited to take part and spent time being filmed in The Bradfield Centre in the Cambridge Science park.


Watch the video here

Read the full article

Chemistry in the Cloud™ – The World’s First App To Project Manage Drug Discovery

The quest to positively benefit the lives of patients in the world of drug discovery means finding novel therapeutics for unmet medical needs. The biotech and pharma companies have been increasingly resorting to external innovation to supplement their pipeline of ideas and turbocharge their research-based businesses with enterprising partners with complementary ideas, capabilities and services. It is therefore hardly surprising that the top medicinal chemists working in both large and small companies have multiple partners across different continents and time-zones.

To deliver these iterative discovery projects often entails detailed co-ordination of inter-related activities and extensive multi-tasking. Project management is the hub that allows these complex matrices of networks to communicate and for the project to successfully advance. In today’s fast paced and technologically advanced digital world, providing the project manager the right tools to make informed decisions is key to successful delivery.

o2h Discovery’s innovative app Chemistry in the Cloud TM builds upon the latest advances in secure cloud-based mobile technology and integrates project management of external drug discovery programs. The app enables communication between the various scientific stakeholders essential to successful project advancement leading to faster decision making. It negates the onerous tasks of weeding out critical information that is required to take a complex decision by extracting the information from large data intensive reports and databases. These crucial decision points are now just a ‘tap/swipe-of-the-finger’ in the Chemistry in the CloudTM app so that they can speedily execute tasks anytime, anywhere. The communication covering a gamut of research activities in relation to process of research now truly happens in 24/7 real-time.

o2h announced a worldwide launch and first live demonstration of our revolutionary project management app – Chemistry in the Cloud TM on 10th September 2017 at the 19th RSC/SCI Cambridge medicinal chemistry conference to some of world’s top scientists. The app’s full suite of project management tools is available exclusively to live project collaborators and a lighter version is open for researchers looking for a quote for the synthesis of small molecules.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sunil-shah-4bb225/detail/recent-activity/shares/
Nilesh Dagia (nilesh@o2h.com) is the COO @ o2h Discovery

Arecor Announces License Agreement with Global Pharmaceutical Company

Arecor Ltd (“the Company”), the leading formulation technology company, focussed on developing superior biopharmaceuticals via the innovative reformulation of proteins and peptides to improve the treatment of diabetes and other conditions, is pleased to announce that a global pharmaceutical and healthcare company, has exercised its license option to Arecor’s proprietary formulation technology, to develop differentiated biosimilar products.

For more details: please visit http://www.arecor.com/news-events/arecor-announces-license-agreement-global-pharmace/

o2h to attend these upcoming conferences

Exonate receives UK Angel Investment Award

NEWS RELEASE: Winners announced for UK Angel Investment Awards 2017 Thursday evening (6th July) saw over 300 leading entrepreneurs and early-stage business investors gather at The Dorchester Hotel in London for UK Business Angels Association’s annual UK Angel Investment Awards 2017. Exonate Limited were award the ‘One to Watch’ in the Best Investment in Life Sciences The judges said: ‘Exonate is showing promise in developing revolutionary approaches to treatments for eye conditions, and has been backed by investors with deep industry knowledge.’ The award category celebrated investment in life sciences businesses, including pharmaceutical, biotechnologies, medical technologies and digital health. The shortlisted companies all demonstrated their capacity for innovation and had successfully used angel investment and other relevant sources of finance to increase their potential to achieve high growth. Emma Sinclair MBE, the successful entrepreneur, UNICEF ambassador and youngest person in the UK to have made a company public (aged 29), presented the 14 awards, which celebrate the UK’s highgrowth entrepreneurs and the investors that have backed them on their growth journey. Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of UK Business Angels Association, said: The shortlisted companies from across the UK competing for the 14 awards have raised a combined total of more than £210m in equity funding over the past 18 monthsfrom early-stage investors, ranging from business angels to crowdfunding platforms and VCs, and this has had a significant impact on their growth and success. The winners reflect the huge range of innovative technologies, products and services being developed here in the UK; and demonstrate a strong capacity for scale and market disruption. UKBAA is delighted to recognise and highlight the success stories of these fantastic entrepreneurs and the contribution made by their investors who bring such vital finance and support.

o2h update: Oxford Drug Design secures £1.5M financing

Oxford Drug Design Ltd (previously known as InhibOx), the leading computer aided drug design and 3D chemical database company, is pleased to announce that it has completed a £1.5 million fundraise to enable it to progress a novel antibacterial programme and continue to build its proprietary platform.

The funding, which will also help finance the company’s commercial and research and development (R&D) activities, was supported by both existing shareholders including IP Group plc as well as new investors including Busolantix Investment SA, o2h Ventures and a number of Business Angels. The round is tranched, subject to the achievement of certain milestones.

Oxford Drug Design will continue to build and utilise its proprietary technology platform in cheminformatics, 3D molecular similarity and computer-aided drug design, in parallel with progressing the antibacterial programme.

Paul Finn, CEO of Oxford Drug Design, said: “Oxford Drug Design has a very exciting future, with a project portfolio with tremendous potential to deliver truly novel agents to target resistant bacteria, and a very efficient and effective drug discovery technology platform. We have a fantastically able team of staff, advisors and collaborators addressing critical unmet medical need for patients and building value for shareholders. Current support from Innovate UK through the prestigious Biomedical Catalyst award, will also help accelerate our programmes. We are delighted to announce this fundraising and would like to thank our existing shareholders for their continued commitment and support and also welcome new shareholders Busolantix Investment SA and o2h Ventures.”

The threat of antibacterial drug resistance is a global problem, and there is a well acknowledged need for new antibiotics with novel mechanisms of action. In a report entitled ‘Tackling Drug Resistant Infections’ commissioned by the UK government published in 2016 it was estimated that 700,000 people die every year from drug resistant strains to common bacterial infections, HIV, TB and Malaria. Oxford Drug Design is uniquely placed to tackle this problem.

About Oxford Drug Design Limited

Oxford Drug Design is based in Oxford, UK.  It was founded in 2001 as a spin-out company from the Oxford University Chemistry Department, of which its founder, Professor Graham Richards, was Chairman.  Building on the pioneering Screensaver Project in the early 2000’s it has developed a suite of proprietary computer-aided drug design technologies and unique 3D chemical database technologies.  Oxford Drug Design applies these technologies to its internal drug discovery portfolio, which is currently focused on the anti-infective therapeutic area.  These methods enable the company to solve problems that have proven challenging to the industry, such as obtaining activity against drug- resistant bacteria, through computer-aided design.

For more information, visit www.oxforddrugdesign.com or contact Paul Finn CEO, paul.finn@oxforddrugdesign.com

Orfan Biotech, a company dedicated to developing small molecules for the treatment of Primary Hyperoxaluria

o2h Update: “Orfan Biotech, a company dedicated to developing small molecules for the treatment of Primary Hyperoxaluria. Orfan has a collaboration with o2h involving financial and medicinal chemistry support. Hans Maag, Med Chemist, Orfan, “We are very thankful to the research partnership with o2h which is allowing Orfan to efficiently and effectively drive our Medicinal Chemistry programs. This partnership demonstrates the power of bringing together insights generated by the Orfan founders with state-of-the art drug discovery and chemistry expertise built in collaboration with the o2h”

o2h are working with new Boston based start-up Arrakis, supporting discovery efforts and making the seed funding stretch further

o2h are working with new Boston based start-up Arrakis, supporting discovery efforts and making the seed funding stretch further! “Happy to be working with o2h, now that I’m sailing under a new flag. Thanks to the energy and effort of the team at o2h, Arrakis Therapeutics is moving very rapidly to build an exciting new technology. Many thanks to all!” Dr Russ Petter, USA

o2h Announces Expanded Chemistry Collaboration With Heptares

Executives from Heptares Therapeutics (Welwyn Garden City, UK) and o2h (Cambridge, UK) announced today an extension of the agreement under which o2h provides multi-FTE -synthetic chemistry services to support discovery programmes at Heptares.

Dr. Miles Congreve, Head of Chemistry said, “We are happy to have signed this new contract with o2h; they have been a solid chemistry partner and have also supported us with some basic ADME, which helps to reduce discovery cycle times.”

Sunil Shah, CEO, o2h “We have had a successful partnership with Heptares Therapeutics and are delighted at this extension for the third year. Heptares has a very innovative technology that we are happy to have supported since inception and believe will lead to new GPCR drugs being discovered.”