New Path Molecular Research

Life Sciences
Molecule research
Aim of funding: 
HMRC Advance Assurance received: 

New Path Molecular Research


The Company was established in January 2015 by Professor Steven Ley at the University of Cambridge, following his observation that, due to industry developments such as the reduction in internal R&D spending and out-sourcing to low cost economies, access to the most creative and innovative chemistry was becoming constrained. A consequence of outsourcing has been to reduce chemical innovation in small molecule research.

The Company is focused therefore on the provision of contract research services for small molecule research, utilising a unique hybrid model of identifying chemical and biological entities.  This approach enables costs of manufacturing to be reduced as chemicals are cheaper than biological products.

The Company’s clients are typically ‘virtual’ discovery companies (i.e. with no internal chemistry resource) and also large pharma companies with an interest in a particular ‘New Path’ technology area.

The hybrid models takes risk out of introducing a new way of identifying chemical entities that would replace targeted therapies known as biologicals. The company's platform technology also enables the exponentially improving cost of manufacturing because chemicals are much cheaper to manufacture than biological products. 


Research and Development expenditure by chemical businesses in the UK is £612m and pharmaceutical businesses is £4.1bn.

Historically, the synthesis of chemicals has had a huge impact on human technological progress. For example, synthetic chemicals are a key component of 60% of medicines, > 90% of agrochemicals, >90% of coatings, 100% of propellants, 100% of performance materials, 100% of batteries, 100% of photoresists (materials used in making microcircuits)and oLEDs (‘organic light emitting diodes used in TVs for example), and 100% of fuels and lubricants.

The ability to make, test and improve the design of these ‘functional’ molecules is a major step in the exploitation of discoveries in genetics, renewable energy, electronics, material science and biology. In effect, it is only by using the creative science of synthetic chemistry that these discoveries can be translated into economic and humanitarian benefits.