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10 February, 2021 - 09:54 By Tony Quested

Millions invested in Optibrium growth push

Optibrium™, a Cambridge-based developer of software for drug discovery, has raised millions from Kester Capital, a leading UK mid-market private equity firm, to accelerate development of the business through organic growth and acquisition.

While no exact figure was put on the deal, Kester Capital typically invests between £10 million to £20m per deal. 

More than 150 organisations worldwide already deploy Optibrium’s technology in their research programs, including five of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies.

Founded in 2009 by Matt Segall, CEO, and Ed Champness, Chief Scientific Officer, Optibrium is based in Cambridge UK with offices in the US in Boston and San Francisco. 

Optibrium’s products enable preclinical drug discovery, focusing on ‘hit to lead’ and ‘lead optimisation’ phases. Its lead products are StarDrop™ and Cerella™. 

StarDrop is a comprehensive suite of integrated software for small molecule design, optimisation, and data analysis that enhances the drug discovery process’s speed and productivity. 

The Cerella™ platform delivers groundbreaking and proven artificial intelligence technology that learns from complex drug discovery data to target high-potential chemical compounds.

The market for computer-aided drug discovery (CADD) is fast-growing, driven by the increasing capabilities and sophistication of software tools that can deliver material cost and time savings for drug developers. 

Independent market research predicts that the global CADD market will surpass $4.8 billion by 2026, rising from $1.5 billion in 2018 at a CAGR of 15.5 per cent.

Adam Maidment, managing partner of Kester Capital, said: “Optibrium is a cutting edge software business that is driving some of the most exciting developments within computer-aided drug discovery. 

“We had been tracking the business for some time and were really impressed by the team and the business’ achievements.”

Matt Segall, CEO of Optibrium, added: “We are delighted to have Kester Capital on board as an investment partner to continue the successful evolution of the business. 

“Kester has extensive experience in the life sciences sector, and we are looking forward to working with them to capitalise on the substantial market opportunities.”

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