Innovation & Enterprise


UCL quantum machine learning startup joins US biotechnology firm

18 January 2022

UCL startup Rahko has been acquired by biotechnology company Odyssey Therapeutics to help develop new drugs for patients with cancer and inflammatory diseases.

Close up of hands working in science lab

Rahko’s quantum drug discovery platform Hyrax uses physics and artificial intelligence to create simulations to study how drugs behave. This is quicker and more efficient than current methods as it requires less data and produces fewer errors.

Rahko’s technology will help Odyssey Therapeutics establish the next generation of oncology drugs and immunomodulators (drugs that can support the immune system in its response to the medicine). It’ll also enable them to find drugs for patients with inflammatory diseases and cancer more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

Rahko was founded in 2018, by UCL Computer Science PhD students Leo Wossnig and Ed Grant, alongside entrepreneurs Miriam Cha and Ian Horobin.

Ed said: “Launching a venture with the support of UCL has been a fantastic experience. We’ve been able to apply our research to complex, valuable problems, build a phenomenal multidisciplinary team, grow and learn as entrepreneurs, and now join Odyssey Therapeutics with the mission of profoundly impacting patients’ lives.”

Rahko were residents at BaseKX, UCL’s dedicated entrepreneurship hub, run by UCL Innovation & Enterprise. Here they received free tailored support and dedicated office space.

The startup was also in the first cohort of Conception X, a venture builder to help PhD students commercialise their research, launched by UCL Engineering.

Read the full story on the UCL News website.


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Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash