OxStem's mission is to help people with latent or established degenerative disease live healthier, longer lives.

OxStem develops small molecule therapeutics for stimulation of stem and progenitor cells in situ.

OxStem's unique approach to regenerative medicine will:

  • Deliver small molecule therapeutics that augment repair mechanisms that already exist within the body

  • Exploit a deep understanding of the chemical underpinnings of stem and progenitor cell function and differentiation

  • Generate a collection of drug candidates to awaken endogenous cells to repair tissues affected by disease or injury


The Business Concept

OxStem is positioned to transform the field of medical therapeutics for what are typically (but certainly not exclusively) age-related conditions, such as Dementia, Heart Failure, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Oncology and Diabetes. 

OxStem’s purpose is to spin out companies from the University of Oxford (“Oxford”) and is comprised of an internationally respected top tier scientific team with a strong track record in both translational bioscience and commercialising world-class scientific innovation. The company was established by:

  • Professor Steve Davies, Waynflete Professor of Chemistry
  • Professor Dame Kay Davies F.R.S., Dr Lee’s Professor of Anatomy & Deputy Chair of the Board of Governors, Wellcome Trust
  • Professor Angela Russell, Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry

The idea is straightforward – to use the Stem Cell and Medicinal Chemistry expertise within Chemistry and its associated partners at Oxford to identify new classes of drugs that can re-program or stimulate existing endogenous cells – awakening dormant cellular repair/regeneration processes or ‘re-wiring’ defunct processes.

At present, regenerative medicine is focused on cell therapies, which are based on in vitro manipulation of stem/progenitor cells followed by transplantation into a patient. The OxStem hypothesis is different and focuses on stimulation of existing in situ adult stem and progenitor cells. Using high throughput phenotypic screens (based on cultures of tissue specific cells and targeted compound libraries) we are identifying new classes of compounds that can stimulate these cells in situ.

In essence, we are combining the territories of stem/precursor cell culture and high throughput/high content screening. The novelty is in the unique combination of know how in large scale stem cell culture, enabling phenotypic screening and preclinical models, together with proven medicinal chemistry expertise.

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