Goodwin-Arctoris Drug Discovery Masterclass Recap

The Attrition Cliff for Drug Discovery: The FDA will approve less than 12% of the candidate medicines that make it into Phase I clinical trials.

Professionals in drug discovery and development face difficult odds: on average, it takes 12 to 15 years to take a new drug from the idea stage to market approval; that is around one-third of a scientist’s professional life! The costs are eye-watering as well: the price tag of taking a single new drug to the market is in the range of $2bn, with attrition rates in excess of 90%. Drug development and discovery indeed is a long and winding road.

Dan Thomas, our Head of Discovery Biology, has seen this road before. Dan has more than 20 years of experience…


Dan Thomas, Head of Discovery Biology at Arctoris, discusses data precision and new partnerships in light of new global health challenges. This blog follows from Dan’s recent workshop at ELRIG UK.

Spot the difference between 1960 and 2021! Has anything changed in laboratories?

SARS-CoV-2 is not the first time a highly contagious coronavirus spread from the animal kingdom into the human population. And chances are it won’t be the last. If viruses continue to be a threat and evolve, we must continuously adapt our approaches to protecting our populations’ health as well.

As the picture above illustrates, labs have remained fundamentally unchanged since the 1960s, despite many improvements in our scientific knowledge, capabilities and technology. Ever-increasing amounts of scientific literature are being published, challenging researchers to keep up with the latest developments, while also spending long days in the lab manually performing experiments…


Poppy Roworth, Head of Laboratory at Arctoris, responds to the big question.

Running Laboratory Experiments: Manually versus Automated

I started a very long blog post during my PhD based on my experiences of science, aimed primarily at my non-scientific friends. I never finished it, mostly because of time constraints around my PhD and also because it became long and waffly. I will endeavour to do better here. Part of the first paragraph reads: “I do experiments, occasionally they work and I am happy. Mostly they don’t and I am sad, I cry into my crisp sandwich at my desk and then I go home and sleep ready to try again the following day”. …


Women of Arctoris reflect on their science idols and career journeys

Women of Arctoris got together for a photo together, and we hear there is also an internal Slack channel they use to support one another! We thank them for their contributions here and sharing with us their science idols. (L to R, clockwise: Kate Adams, Wilfride Petnga, Versha Prakash, Lily Elsner, Poppy Roworth, Hester Sheehan)

Today is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to remind all of us of the need to commit to equality in participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

According to UN Women, just 30% of researchers worldwide are women, and only 35% of those studying in STEM-related fields are women. It is a complex issue including aspects such as structural inequalities and unhelpful stereotypes, though it’s encouraging to see a push for more constructive conversation and above all much-needed action towards more equal opportunities in our field.

As researchers and…


Arctoris’ co-founders, Martin-Immanuel Bittner and Tom Fleming look back on how Arctoris was born and how we got to where we are today.

Founded in Oxford in 2016, Arctoris is the next step in drug discovery data generation, offering fully automated Experiments-as-a-Service

Arctoris has turned 5 today! We are thrilled to see where we are now, and how far we have come. We have had a lot of fun and success, have overcome many challenges, and have learned a lot while pursuing our mission to empower scientists around the world. Both Arctoris and our industry as a whole have evolved a great deal during this time and while it is always tempting to look ahead, our anniversary is a good opportunity to reflect on our journey so far.

The Problem that Sparked the Idea

The idea of Arctoris was born through our own experience in the lab. A…


In Daniel Susskind’s A World Without Work: Technology, Automation and How We Should Respond published last year, he argues that economic growth is inseparable from automation. Many industries have seen unprecedented growth in productivity in recent decades, and what they had in common was an increase in the degree of automation, with more and more routine or dangerous tasks taken over by robots.

Now, it is time to start harnessing the power of automation in biomedical research. Automating experimental execution helps scientists make better use of their time, enabling them to spend more time on experiment design, data analysis, scientific…


Our relationship with the University of Oxford starts with our founders who met there while completing their doctorates, and includes the background of many of our team. Now we are thrilled to support the University’s Crankstart Internship programme. The programme benefits young scholars as they gain professional work experience relevant to their academic degrees and envisioned careers.

We are happy to offer Crankstart Scholars a taste of the biotech startup life! Through this programme, we have met some incredibly passionate and talented students who have fuelled our young company with their ideas and energy. Given their enthusiasm, we are not…


Arctoris’ CEO and Co-Founder Martin-Immanuel Bittner reflects on what this momentous year meant for us, as we look to times ahead for more opportunities to contribute to public health issues.

Arctoris’ automated laboratory is based in Oxford, United Kingdom

2020 has been a rather eventful year for all of us — and our thoughts are with all who have suffered from COVID-19, who have lost loved ones, and their livelihoods. These are truly challenging times. They also make us humble, as we can consider ourselves lucky for the situation we find ourselves in.

We are grateful that we have been able to engage with researchers during this time. Our…


From the lab to the patient

The number of possible drug-like molecules can baffle the imagination. There are more than 10⁶⁰ compounds in this molecular haystack, though only a tiny proportion of these compounds will meet all the requirements to become a safe and effective medicine. Over the past millennia, we found a handful of needles (or cures) in this molecular haystack. More often than not, we have relied on serendipity, such as Fleming’s discovery of penicillin.

There are more than 10⁶⁰ compounds in the molecular haystack, though only a tiny proportion of these compounds will meet all the requirements to become a safe and effective…


Guest post by Gareth Fearnley, Senior Scientist at Arctoris

When I joined Arctoris as a Senior Scientist almost a year ago, I must admit that I was sceptical about the benefits automation of cell-based assays could bring to drug discovery research, especially if the assay appears to be of relatively low complexity. Not to mention, as a passionate bench scientist there was some trepidation around how I would feel about hanging up my pipette. …

Arctoris Ltd

We are the world’s first fully automated R&D platform generating drug discovery data on demand www.arctoris.com

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