Orbit Discovery raises US$7.6m in funding round led by Oxford sciences innovation

UK – Orbit Discovery, an oxford-based biopharma company, has raised $7.6m in funding to boost its peptide drug discovery services and accelerate the growth of its business.

In this latest funding round Oxford Sciences Innovation led the event, with participation from Borealis Ventures, Perivoli Innovations and other institutional and individual investors.

The funds raised will be used to accelerate Orbit’s ‘growth trajectory’ as a provider of peptide discovery services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

Orbit’s technology platform enables the screening of peptide libraries for target binding and subsequent activity in cell-based functional assays.

As a result, the platform can identify active peptides against both soluble proteins and membrane bound targets such as G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs).

By identifying functional molecules – including those that could have agonistic or antagonist properties on disease relevant targets – the platform offers a starting point for the development of peptide, small molecule or other therapeutics.

Peptide Therapeutics Market

According to the Transparency Market Research report, the global peptide therapeutics market was valued at US$25b in 2018 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 7.9% from 2019 to 2027.

The success of peptide therapeutics, so far, can be attributed to their clinical benefits, which include high target specificity, low toxicity and favorable safety profiles.

Since 2017, over 10 peptide-based drugs have received marketing approvals across different regions of the world.

Further, more than 150 therapeutic peptides are currently under clinical investigation, while several novel leads are being evaluated in the early stages of research.

In this context, it is also worth mentioning that peptide-based therapy products account for 5% of the global pharmaceutical revenues generated annually.

Presently, several drug developers, along with technology providers, are actively engaged in the development of novel peptide-based therapeutics, such as peptide drug conjugates and cell penetrating peptides.

Innovation in this field of research is mostly focused on improving drug delivery methods, API stability, target affinity, and optimizing toxicity profiles. Several big pharma players have also demonstrated interest in peptide therapeutics and are investing both time and capital in this domain.

Since 2019, more than US$3b has been invested into companies that are involved in the development of various types of peptide drugs.

In addition, the market is witnessing significant partnership activity; several licensing agreements, focused on drug development and commercialization, were recently inked between stakeholders in this industry.

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