Belfast techbio raises £1.4m to tackle complex diseases

Researcher loads DNA samples for PCR analysis

Belfast-based techbio company AMPLY Discovery has raised over £1.4 ($1.7) million in grant funding to develop new drugs using its AI-driven drug discovery platform.

The company, which is a spin-out from the Queen’s University Belfast, was established in 2021 to commercialise a drug discovery platform developed by researchers in the School of Biological Science at Queen’s.

Dermot Tierney, Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder, said: “As a drug discovery studio which discovers and develops de novo first-in-class drug candidates for downstream out-licensing this funding will significantly enhance our pipeline of license-ready assets.”

AMPLY is currently focused on two R&D programmes which will provide technical validation for its development platform. The first programme, focused on RNAi therapies to tackle highly genetically mediated cancers, has been awarded £835,000 by Innovate UK and Innosuisse to develop a new RNAi therapy for acute myeloid leukaemia.

The second programme, focused on inhaled antimicrobial therapies to fight multi-drug resistant (MDR) lung infections, has been awarded £602,000 by Innovate UK to develop a new nebulised antimicrobial product for MDR-TB.

AMPLY raised its initial pre-seed funding in May 2022 and is planning to raise a further £1.4m in a full seed funding round in the second quarter of 2024.

Dr Ben Thomas, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, said: “This new funding will further help AMPLY to realise its ambition of democratising the discovery of new therapeutics by building a transformative Drug Discovery Studio which leverages the raw power of evolution to unearth new medicines from nature’s huge untapped reservoir.”

AMPLY works with a network of disease and biotech partners to help advance its programmes. Its MDR-TB project is a collaboration with St George’s University London and its AML project is being run with a Swiss-based biotech partner.

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