Orbit was co-founded in 2015 by Professors Graham Ogg and Terry Rabbitts from Oxford University’s Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine. Orbit uses a proprietary technology originally developed to provide a diverse library of peptides to probe the cell surface. The initial scientific objective was to present random peptides to T-cells with unknown specificity as a way to establish their epitopes – something that was challenging with alternative peptide display technologies. As Orbit’s technology also supports the presentation of non-natural amino acids, constrained peptides and peptides modified after translation, the company has also established programs in peptide drug discovery and development, both internally and in partnership with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
“We’ve been very successful in delivering on Orbit’s strategy, leading to growth in both capability development and commercial collaborations,” commented Alex Batchelor, CEO at Orbit. “This Series A funding allows us to greatly expand platform industrialisation whilst achieving the milestones in our existing three pharma partnerships. Moreover, we can support further strategic collaborations that align with development of our platform.”
“Orbit’s unique approach to peptide drug discovery and development, in combination with their well validated business model, has similarities to earlier Borealis investments that have been very successful”, commented Phil Ferneau. He added, “Having sufficient funds to further refine and develop the platform into novel areas such as functional screening of potential peptide drugs in cell-based assays combined with a sophisticated approach to partnering makes Orbit well placed to capitalise on increased interest in peptide therapeutics.”
James Mallinson added, “Since their formation in late 2015, Orbit have delivered on their early commitments and established a skilled and knowledgeable team. We’re delighted to be able to follow our seed investment with increased participation in this Series A round.”