Belfast drug discovery company raises £900,000 to help fight infectious disease
Northern Irish drug discovery company AMPLY Discovery Limited has raised £900,000 in equity and grant funding to develop new drugs using its proprietary AI-based drug discovery platform.
The Belfast-based biotech company, which is a spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast, was established in 2021 to commercialize an innovative drug discovery platform that was developed by researchers at the School of Biological Science in Queen’s.
Its technological platform has been the subject of more than eight years of scientific research.
AMPLY Discovery is focused on solving the challenges created by the global health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which threatens to render humanity’s current portfolio of antibiotics ineffective in fighting infections caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi.
His team uses artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques derived from financial markets to mine biological data to discover new molecules. These molecules, such as proteins and peptides, offer significant value as new biopharmaceutical drugs targeting hard-to-treat diseases.
The company’s initial flagship program is developing a new anti-infective product to combat bovine mastitis and has received a grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency under its ICURE Aid for Start program Ups.
The company has raised additional funds to support its development programs through an equity investment in the NI co-fund, which is managed by Clarendon Fund Managers and backed by Invest NI and the British Business Bank, the QUBIS Innovation Fund, the Helix Way Partnership and angel investments from members of the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN).
Dr Ben Thomas, CEO and Co-Founder, said: “It is exciting to be able to advance the commercial development of AMPLY Discovery thanks to the tremendous support from our investors and Queen’s University Belfast.
“Early research development in this area began nearly a decade ago when I considered adopting AI and machine learning techniques I had worked with in financial markets for the field. computational biology.”
Highlighting the £900,000 funding as a “significant achievement”, Dermot Tierney, chief commercial officer and co-founder of AMPLY Discovery, said it would enable the company to target business opportunities.
He explained, “This latest round of funding is a significant achievement for AMPLY Discovery and will allow us to target significant commercial opportunities for novel anti-infective products starting with bovine mastitis.
Stuart Gaffikin, Investment Manager at Clarendon Fund Managers, continued: “The NI Co-Fund is delighted to support AMPLY Discovery and its team as it progresses the development of its technology in infectious disease and beyond. of the.
The QUBIS Innovation Fund is a SEIS & EIS fund aimed specifically at university spin-out companies. The aim of the fund is to provide a source of early stage funding for spin-off companies to begin their commercial journey as soon as possible.
Anne Dornan, Head of Entrepreneurial Networks at QUBIS, added: “AMPLY Discovery is a fantastic example of the support Queen’s can offer our researchers through our investment subsidiary, QUBIS Limited.
“The AMPLY team has gone through our entire support program, including the Lean Launch and ICURe programs.”
Queen’s University Belfast is a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive UK universities and has a long history of innovative and world-leading research with partners from industry, government, public policy, social and health, the arts and the voluntary sector. , nationally and internationally.