Belfast-Based AMPLY Secures £1.4m Grant for Cancer-Fighting Spinout


  • AMPLY Discovery secures £1.4m grant to advance AI-driven drug discovery.
  • Collaborations with academic and industry partners aim to address cancer and infectious diseases.
  • CEO Dr. Ben Thomas highlights the company’s commitment to revolutionizing drug discovery.

In a significant boost to the future of drug discovery, AMPLY Discovery, a groundbreaking spinout from Queen’s University Belfast, has announced securing over £1.4 million in grant funding. This funding is aimed at propelling the development of new drug products targeting cancer, metabolic, and infectious diseases through an AI-driven platform, reminiscent of ChatGPT, but for molecule discovery.

Innovating healthcare through AI

Established in 2021, AMPLY Discovery has been at the forefront of integrating artificial intelligence and synthetic biology to revolutionize the way new drugs are discovered. This approach not only promises to make the discovery process more predictable but also significantly reduces the costs associated with drug development. With a decade of research and development under its belt, the company’s technology platform is setting new standards in the pharmaceutical industry.

AMPLY’s commitment to innovation is evident in its two flagship R&D programmes. The first, focusing on RNAi therapies for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia, has been awarded £835,000 by Innovate UK and Innosuisse. The second programme aims at developing inhaled antimicrobial therapies for multi-drug resistant lung infections, with a grant of £602,000 from Innovate UK to combat MDR-TB. These projects underscore AMPLY’s dedication to addressing some of the most challenging diseases facing humanity today.

Expanding horizons: Future plans and collaborations

Looking ahead, AMPLY plans to raise an additional £1.4 million in a full seed funding round slated for the second quarter of 2024. This ambition is supported by the recent grant awards, highlighting the company’s progress and its potential to create a highly efficient platform for drug discovery. Dr. Ben Thomas, CEO and co-founder, envisions AMPLY democratizing the discovery of new therapeutics by leveraging nature’s vast, untapped reservoirs through its Drug Discovery Studio.

AMPLY’s innovative AI platform operates as a ‘ChatGPT for molecule discovery’, using amino acids and oligonucleotides to build new drug candidates. These candidates are then synthesized and validated in real-world settings using synthetic biology, illustrating the company’s cutting-edge approach to drug discovery.

The company’s collaborative efforts are also noteworthy, with projects like the MDR-TB initiative being developed in partnership with St George’s University London and the AML project in collaboration with a Swiss-based partner. These collaborations not only enhance AMPLY’s research capabilities but also expand its network within the biotech and disease research communities.

AMPLY’s journey is supported by a robust network of investors including Co-fund NI, managed by Clarendon Fund Managers, Invest NI, the British Business Bank, QUBIS Limited, the Helix Way Partnership, Techstars, and contributions from the Halo Business Angel Network (HBAN). Dermot Tierney, the chief operating officer and co-founder, highlighted the significance of the new funding in enhancing the company’s pipeline of license-ready drug candidates, setting the stage for future out-licensing deals.

As AMPLY Discovery continues to make strides in the pharmaceutical industry, its innovative approach to drug discovery holds the promise of transforming healthcare. With AI and synthetic biology at its core, AMPLY is not just pioneering new treatments for today’s diseases but also shaping the future of medicine.

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Glory Kaburu

Glory is an extremely knowledgeable journalist proficient with AI tools and research. She is passionate about AI and has authored several articles on the subject. She keeps herself abreast of the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning and writes about them regularly.

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