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Department of Chemistry © Oxford University Images
Department of Chemistry

OxStem, an Oxford spin-out founded by Professor Steve Davies, Professor Angela Russell and Professor Dame Kay Davies (Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics), has raised a record £16.9m to develop small molecule drug candidates to treat age-related conditions including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and heart failure. The company has formed strategic partnerships with Human Longevity Inc. and CEO Dr J Craig Venter together with Mr Bob Duggan and Dr. Mahkam Zanganeh (former CEO and Chairman and Chief Operating Officer respectively) of Pharmacyclics that was sold last year to Abbvie for US$21bn. Other individual investors, together with Oxford Science Innovation, will enable OxStem to fund the development of a series of daughter companies - each with a focus on a different large unmet therapeutic need. The majority of the £16.9m is expected to be used to fund joint projects between the Department of Chemistry and other departments across Oxford over the next three years.