Belfast startup AMPLY has raised £900,000 to develop a range of new products that hopes to tackle multi-drug resistent pathogens using its artificial intelligence (AI) drug discovery platform.

It hopes to ensure new strains of antibiotics can still tackle global threat diseases, despite antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance is when bacteria and viruses become resistant to medication, making previous treatments ineffective.

The Belfast startup is using the power of AI to discover alternative anti-infective medicines that would work against global diseases, UKTN reports.

“It is exciting to be able to advance the commercial development of AMPLY Discovery thanks to the tremendous support of our investors and Queen’s University Belfast,” AMPLY co-founder and CEO Ben Thomas said.

“The development of initial research in this domain started out almost a decade ago when I considered adopting AI and machine learning techniques, I had worked with in financial markets for the computational biology domain.”

Computer-aided drug design methods have increasingly been using more AI technology, as it can “rapidly assimilate big data”, according to a GlobalData report.

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“It can be used to quickly identify and validate drug targets, screen billions of potential molecules for hit generation and optimisation, and predict patient response of treatment,” the report stated.

“This can significantly reduce the time and cost to get a drug to market, particularly in areas of unmet need such as the development of new antibiotics or rare and neglected diseases.”

The AMPLY deal is the latest in a long line of medtech-related deals throughout the last decade.

The funding round comes as medtech funding has increased over the past decade, according to new data from GlobalData, accessed on September 22.

In 2013, the research firm recorded 130 VC deals in the medtech space, valued at a combined $1.047bn. This has increased dramatically in the last nine years. As of September 22, there have been 409 VC deals carried out in the medtech space, valued at $10.7bn.

However, at its 2019 peak, there were 748 medtech deals in the works, valued at $16.8bn. In 2021, there were slightly fewer deals at 730 but the value was significantly higher at $25.5bn.

GlobalData is the parent company of Verdict and its sister publications.