Oxford University research spin-out MoA Technology has launched with a £6.3m funding round.

The new funds will assist the firm in it aims to confront what it describes as a ‘global herbicide resistance crisis’.

Founded in 2018 from Oxford University’s Plant Sciences Department, the firm is led by researchers and co-founders Professor Liam Dolan FRS and Dr Clement Champion.

Oxford University Innovation, the University’s innovation arm, assisted in spinning the company out in 2018.

The funding round was co-led by Oxford Sciences Innovation, the world’s largest university venture fund, and Parkwalk Advisors, the largest EIS growth fund manager focused on university spinouts.

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The company has developed three proprietary platforms: MoA Galaxy, MoA Target and MoA Select and is focused on the discovery of next generation sustainable herbicides. The platforms are based upon a combination of genetics, trait analysis and data analytics.

“In recent years industry has moved from high throughput screening to lower throughput in-vivo plant screening but neither method has been successful in uncovering marketable herbicides that have new modes of action,” said Sherardian Professor of Botany at the Department of Plant Sciences at Oxford University Liam Dolan.

“We have redesigned the discovery process in its entirety.

“Not only do we focus on identifying new potential modes of action at the outset, our platform combines in-vivo screening with a high throughput capability that we believe is a first in this industry. Early results are extremely promising”.

Hadyn Parry, Chairman at MoA Technology, added: “Raising £6m at this stage in the company’s development is a real testament to the strength of the company’s prospects.” 

MoA Technology said it plan to generate several new products into development in the coming years, and hopes to create industrial partnerships that can then take the products to market.