Orbit Discovery raises $7.6m in funding

The financing was led by Oxford Sciences Innovation, with participation from Borealis Ventures, Perivoli Innovations, and other institutional and individual investors, including Kapil Dev Joory

Orbit Discovery, a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering candidate peptide therapeutics using proprietary affinity and cell-based screening platforms, has raised $7.6m in funding.

The financing was led by Oxford Sciences Innovation, with participation from Borealis Ventures, Perivoli Innovations, and other institutional and individual investors, including Kapil Dev Joory.

The investment will be used to accelerate the company’s growth trajectory as a provider of peptide discovery services to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry. Its bead-based and microfluidic technology platform enables the screening of peptide libraries for target binding and subsequent activity in cell-based functional assays. This means the platform is suitable for identifying active peptides against both soluble proteins and membrane bound targets such as GPCRs, Orbit says.

“Orbit’s team has the right combination of scientific rigor and novel peptide technologies to lead a new generation of drug development, and we look forward to partnering with the team to advance their mission,” said Nick Dixon-Clegg, Principal at Oxford Sciences Innovation. “Orbit is creating the next wave of innovative technologies that facilitate faster and more specific therapeutic molecule discovery. We believe the ability to assess specific binding and functional screening through a single platform is a key gap in the market and offers a strong future for the company.”

The use of a bead-based peptide display engine along with microfluidic technologies allows Orbit to interrogate the activity of each library member against single cells. The company says this capability opens the door to identifying functional molecules including those that may have agonistic or antagonist properties on disease relevant targets. These functional leads can provide the starting point for the development of peptide, small molecule, other therapeutics or as bioconjugates, providing targeting and cargo delivery mechanisms.

“Our proprietary platform gives our clients a unique capability in high throughput affinity and cell based functional screening, efficiently delivering therapeutic relevant peptides.” said Dr Neil Butt, CEO of Orbit Discovery. “We intend to use this financing to position ourselves as a market leader in peptide discovery as we seek to develop therapies for the future.”

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