2020: A Significant Year for Drug Discovery and Us

Arctoris Ltd
4 min readDec 21, 2020

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 mission is to support biomedical researchers worldwide, to augment them in their incredibly demanding task of understanding diseases and developing new and better treatments for patients, forming the backbone of biomedical innovation and drug discovery. Our platform allows for the process to be faster, which is crucial in a severe public health crisis.

We see the world around us has been Zoomified, and embracing new ways to work and live. Which for us, as a remote-first, robotics-powered company that enables researchers to do drug discovery from their homes, almost feels like redemption and a motivation boost at the same time.

Our CEO Martin-Immanuel Bittner reflects on 2020 and the opportunities ahead
Martin-Immanuel Bittner, MD DPhil is the CEO of Arctoris, the world’s first fully automated drug discovery platform that he co-founded in 2016.

For Arctoris, 2020 has seen us double the size of our team and our assay capabilities, embark on new partnerships with some of the world’s leading drug discovery companies, and our work has been recognised by Forbes, Pharma Times, GEN, the Singapore Business Review, and many others.

We are proud to partner with Alex Zhavoronkov’s incredible team at Insilico Medicine this year, where our scientific teams — together with Insilico’s AI and Arctoris’ robotics — worked side by side to design and then profile new inhibitors that could be used for COVID-19 treatment. We were also able to participate in and work with the Creative Destruction Lab in Oxford, which motivates us even more to innovate.

Internally, we are humbled to grow our team with some of the finest drug discovery experts and life sciences executives you could imagine — including an addition to our stellar advisory board with distinguished individuals such as Stan Lapidus, Beth J Hoffman, and Khusru Asadullah.

As we look into 2021 and beyond, we can see a few key events already on the horizon. On the one hand, we will celebrate our 5th birthday — a huge milestone for a young company! At the same time, our geographic expansion will continue — currently based in Oxford and Singapore, a third Arctoris location is becoming more likely. And as a teaser, we will have some exciting news on our robotics front. We can’t disclose more details now, but those with an interest in Greek mythology will be rewarded for checking back in.

And with this, I would like to send you all my warm wishes for the holidays and the New Year. Please stay safe, and all the best.

Martin-Immanuel Bittner, our CEO, graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Freiburg in Germany, followed by his DPhil in Oncology as a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford. He has extensive research experience covering both clinical trials and preclinical drug discovery and is an active member of several leading cancer research organisations, including EACR, AACR, and ESTRO. In recognition of his research achievements, he was elected a member of the Young Academy of the German National Academy of Sciences in 2018.

Given the year we’ve all had, we are keen to chat about the future of drug discovery. Find us on LinkedIn and Twitter or write to Martin directly here.

About Arctoris Ltd

Arctoris Ltd is an Oxford-based research company that is revolutionising drug discovery for virtual and traditional biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical corporations and academia. Arctoris has established the world’s first fully automated drug discovery platform, offering pre-optimised and fully validated processes for its partners and customers globally. Accessible remotely, the platform provides on-demand access to a wide range of biochemical, cell biology and molecular biology assays conducted by robotics, enabling rapid, informed decision-making in basic biology, target validation, toxicology and phenotypic screening. These assay capabilities are accessed using a powerful online portal that streamlines experiment planning, ordering, tracking and data analysis. Thanks to the Arctoris platform, customers can rapidly, accurately and cost-effectively perform their research and advance their drug discovery programmes.

For more information, please visit www.arctoris.com. For media enquiries, contact media@arctoris.com.



Arctoris Ltd

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