Northern Ireland firm raises £1.4million in Innovate UK grant funding to tackle complex diseases
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The company, which is a spin-out from the Queen’s University Belfast, was established in 2021 to commercialise an innovative drug discovery platform developed by researchers in the School of Biological Science at Queen’s.
AMPLY is powering the discovery of cures for cancer, metabolic and infectious diseases through AI and synthetic biology, making the discovery of new drugs more predictable and less expensive. Its technology platform has been the subject of more than a decade of research and development.
The company is currently focused on two flagship 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. The company said the new grant awards further demonstrate the progress it is making towards building a new type of highly efficient platform for drug discovery.
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.”
Dermot Tierney, chief operating officer and co-founder, explained: “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.”
Mark Beards, non-executive chairperson, continued: “AMPLY Discovery is a fantastic example of another quality life science company emerging from the buoyant Northern Ireland ecosystem.”
AMPLY is a techbio company, a new breed of bio-tech company which leverages software and technology to solve complex biological problems.