Against this turbulent backdrop, a select group of biotech startups have managed to sustain growth. We’ve selected 30 firms that have collectively raised nearly $8 billion. A fair share of these companies are focused on AI techniques to accelerate drug discovery while others have homed in on niche areas like gene therapies, RNA modulation and epigenetic therapies.
Note, one of the startups on the list, Pionyr Immunotherapeutics, was recently acquired.
For a deeper dive, yet fairly brief analysis of the startups, check out Interactive snapshot: 30 promising biotech startups.
- Mission: Applying AI for cancer care and beyond. With a valuation ranging in billions, Tempus has forged high-profile partnerships as it extends its oncology platform to encompass neuropsychiatry, cardiology, infectious disease and radiology.
- Product: The xT Platform that uses AI to structure and analyze clinical data, guiding physicians in patient care and treatment choices.
- Recent achievements: Cemented alliances with Pfizer and Eli Lilly for drug development and genomic testing.
- Total Funding: $1.345 billion. The latest funding includes a Series G funding round as well as debt Financing.
- Prominent Investors: Google, Baillie Gifford, Ares Management.
- Mission: Accelerating cell and gene therapy production by tapping advanced platforms for gene editing, stem cells and mRNA. The company has assembled a suite of technology platforms and manufacturing capabilities to facilitate the discovery and development of gene therapies, cell therapies and stem cell-derived therapies. To do so, the company relies on its expertise in gene editing, stem cells and vector engineering. The company scored $401 million in Series D funding in May 2023.
- Product: The company’s manufacturing-focused BaseCamp aims to streamline process development and cGMP manufacturing for cell and gene therapies. BaseCamp’s LentiPeak platform offers a standardized process for scaling lentiviral vector production from early-stage through commercialization.
- Ecosystem: ElevateBio has built an interconnected ecosystem, incorporating their technology platforms into an array of cell and gene therapy pipelines, both internal and external.
- Total funding: $1.2 billion.
- Prominent investors: Matrix Capital Management, Itochu.
- Mission: Harnesses small molecules to modulate RNA splicing to regulate harmful protein production and investigate splicing’s potential in treating major diseases. Examples include osteoarthritis, cancer as well as Alzheimer’s and other degenerative conditions. While the company achieved a $12 billion valuation in 2018, the company narrowed its focus in 2022.
- Research focus: Exploring Wnt pathway modulation as a means to advance splicing as a more-mature therapeutic avenue.
- Clinical evaluation: Biosplice is evaluating Lorecivivint, a compound for osteoarthritis treatment.
- Total funding: $778 million.
- Prominent investors: Sands Capital Ventures, Eventide, aMoon Fund.
- Mission: Pioneering drug discovery by employing machine learning and leveraging large datasets to create predictive models of human biology, the techbio company belongs to a group of firms specializing in data-driven drug discovery and development using machine learning to expedite drug discovery.
- Partnerships: In 2019, Insitro announced a pact with Gilead Sciences, focusing on identifying treatments for Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH).
- Total funding: $743 million.
- Prominent investors: Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Andreessen Horowitz.
- Mission: SoftBank-backed Neumora Therapeutics focuses on developing therapies that target neurotransmitter systems. Their initial research emphasis is on the dopaminergic system to address neuropsychiatric diseases. The company has announced positive mid-stage results for its experimental oral depression drug navacaprant. Neumora has named former AbbVie executive Henry Gosebruch as its CEO.
- Clinical trials: Neumora is launching a phase 3 study of navacaprant (NMRA-140) in major depressive disorder (MDD).
- Total funding: $612 million.
- Prominent investors: Softbank, ARCH Venture Partners.
- Mission: Kriya Therapeutics is working on gene therapies in a variety of therapeutic areas, including ophthalmology, neurology and metabolic diseases. In ophthalmology, the firm is targeting common causes of blindness such as geographic atrophy, uveitis and diabetic retinopathy. In neurology, it is focused on severe focal diseases including trigeminal neuralgia and epilepsy. Finally, for metabolic diseases, Kriya is targeting endocrine disorders of glucose metabolism. Examples include diabetes and glycogen storage diseases.
- Total Funding: $600.5 million.
- Prominent Investors: Patient Square Capital, CAM Capital.
- Mission: Tessera Therapeutics is focused on the development of a Gene Writing technology platform. The goal is to either correct or introduce genetic information into cells as a means of disease treatment. Tessera is exploring in vivo and ex vivo Gene Writing approaches. For in vivo, it uses a proprietary lipid nanoparticle (LNP) delivery system to target the liver, lung and hematopoietic stem cells. For ex vivo, it is using LNP or electroporation to genetically modify T cells and other immune cells as engineered cell therapies. Oncology applications are a core focus.
- Product stage: Currently in the research/early development phase with its Gene Writing technology.
- Total funding: $531.8 million.
- Prominent investors: SoftBank Vision Fund, Flagship Pioneering and Longevity Vision Fund.
8. Valo Health
- Mission: Valo Health is dedicated to using AI combined with human data to address the challenges faced in traditional drug discovery. Valo’s closed-loop Opal computational platform aims to provide insights throughout the entirety of the development process. The company boasts that Opal can potentially halve the time and cost of advancing therapeutic candidates while reducing failures.
- Partnerships: Collaboration with KSM Research and Innovation’s Biobank to accelerate the process of delivering new drugs to patients.
- Total funding: $460 million.
- Prominent investors: Koch Disruptive Technologies, PSP Investments, Flagship Pioneering.
- Mission: ReCode Therapeutics is working on an LNP-mRNA platform with the aim to address genetic diseases such as primary ciliary dyskinesia and cystic fibrosis. Recode’s pipeline focuses on primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and cystic fibrosis (CF) nonsense mutations. ReCode’s core technology is its Selective Organ Targeting (SORT) platform, which uses lipid nanoparticles to deliver genetic medicines beyond the liver to organs, tissues and cell types that are inaccessible with current delivery systems.
- Product Stage: Currently in the preclinical phase, specifically focusing on therapies for cystic fibrosis and primary ciliary dyskinesia.
- Total funding: $422 million.
- Prominent investors: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Matrix Capital Management, among others.
- Mission: Generate Biomedicines employs machine learning and biological engineering in its approach to discover novel therapies. The company’s platform applies computational techniques to study large numbers of proteins and identify generalizable patterns for how biological function is encoded. Generate uses this data to design of therapeutic candidates with desired functions across multiple modalities like proteins, cells and gene therapies.
- Partnerships: In 2022, they entered into a collaboration with Amgen.
- Total funding: $420 million.
- Prominent investors: Fidelity Management and Research Company, MorningSide Ventures.
- Mission: The techbio Benchling provides a cloud platform designed to assist R&D teams in managing biological data, designing sequences, tracking samples and using AI/ML to analyze operational metrics. The main goal is to enhance productivity and foster collaboration for scientists through its cloud platform, which supports biotechnology research and development. The company’s product offers features including electronic lab notebook, tools for molecular design and sequence analysis. Benchling reports more than 200,000 scientists at companies, academic institutions and startups use its platform.
- Total funding: $411.9 million.
- Prominent investors: Lone Pine Capital, Franklin Templeton Investments, Sequoia Capital Global Equities.
- Mission: Element Biosciences is dedicated to creating affordable DNA sequencing systems for both research and diagnostic purposes. The company aims to provide high-quality DNA sequencing technology at affordable pricing. Element’s sequencing platforms combine advanced semiconductor technology with novel biochemical techniques.
- Partnerships: In 2023, collaborations were established with Agilent, Bio-Rad and Tecan.
- Total funding: $401 million.
- Prominent investors: Fidelity Management and Research Company, JS Capital, Venrock.
- Mission: Maze Therapeutics employs genetic data and algorithms in a quest to discover precision medicines for genetically defined diseases. They currently have three candidates targeting diseases like Pompe disease, chronic kidney disease and ALS. Maze is developing the Pompe disease candidate with Sanofi.
- Partnerships: In 2023, Maze Therapeutics licensed their Pompe disease program to Sanofi.
- Total funding: $381 million.
- Prominent investors: Terra Magnum Capital Partners, NS Investment.
- Mission: Cellares is developing an automated, closed end-to-end manufacturing platform called the Cell Shuttle to scale up cell therapy production. The Cell Shuttle aims to address challenges in traditional manual cell therapy manufacturing like high costs, low throughput and quality control problems. By automating all workflow steps simultaneously for multiple therapies, Cellares hopes to enable reliable large-scale manufacturing to meet patient demand. We interviewed the company’s CEO in 2022.
- Product: The Cell Shuttle platform, designed to automate the entire cell therapy manufacturing process.
- Total Funding: $355 million.
- Prominent Investors: 8VC, Koch Disruptive Technologies.
- Mission: Pionyr Immunotherapeutics specializes in developing immunotherapies that target the tumor microenvironment. The clinical-stage biotech company has developed an approach, called Myeloid Tuning, that aims to enhance the body’s anti-tumor immunity by modifying myeloid cells at the tumor site. Pionyr has multiple antibody therapeutics in phase 1 studies targeting receptors such as TREM2 and TREM1. The company was founded in 2015 by Dr. Max Krummel, co-inventor of the first checkpoint inhibitor Yervoy.
- Clinical Trials: In 2022, the company initiated Phase 1b trials for two of their candidates.
- Acquisition: In 2023, Pionyr Immunotherapeutics was acquired by Ikena Oncology.
- Total Funding: $352 million.
- Prominent Investors: Gilead Sciences, Vida Ventures, Sofinnova Investments.
- Note: Ikena Oncology recently acquired Pionyr Immunotherapeutics.
- Mission: ADARx Pharmaceuticals is working on an RNA targeting platform that addresses genetic, cardiometabolic and CNS diseases. The company’s platform uses various oligonucleotide modalities such as antisense, RNAi and mRNA editing, in addition to novel delivery technologies. The company name ADAR refers to the enzyme adenosine deaminase acting on RNA. Its lead program is entering IND-enabling toxicology studies.
- Clinical trials: In 2023, the company initiated a Phase 1 trial for ADX-324.
- Total funding: $332 million.
- Prominent investors: Bain Capital Life Sciences, TCG Crossover, OrbiMed and SR One.
- Mission: Orna Therapeutics is developing a new class of circular RNA therapeutics (oRNA). Its platform engineers fully circularized RNAs for diseases such as cancer, regenerative medicine, protein replacement, infectious disease and autoimmunity. Its lead program uses lipid nanoparticles to deliver circular RNA chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) in situ to patients’ own immune cells for cancer immunotherapy. The company has kept details about its pipeline close to its chest, but has forged development partnerships with Merck & Co. and ReNAgade Therapeutics.
- Pipeline: Their focus areas include oncology, genetic disease and infectious disease programs.
- Total funding: $321 million.
- Prominent investors: MPM Capital, Merck.
18. Chroma Medicine
- Mission: Chroma Medicine is focused on redefining genomic medicines through an understanding of epigenetics. They aim to develop single-dose genomic medicines that use epigenetic editors for direct regulation of gene transcription. Their approach seeks to control the expression of disease-related genes precisely. Chroma aims to achieve precise, durable control of gene activity using single-dose therapeutics that edit the epigenome.
- Technology: Their innovative technology involves manipulating the epigenome to either permit or restrict gene transcription, potentially offering more refined methods for gene regulation.
- Total funding: $260 million.
- Prominent investors: Google Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, Atlas Venture, Newpath Partners.
- Mission: Ambagon Therapeutics works with 14-3-3 proteins to create molecular glues that target protein-protein interactions. Their objective is to approach historically difficult-to-drug targets in various disease areas.
- Focus: Their research covers a spectrum of diseases, including cancer, neurodegeneration and infectious diseases.
- Total funding: $148 million.
- Prominent investors: Nextech Invest.
20. Satellite Bio
- Mission: Satellite Bio is devoted to the development of bioengineered tissue grafts, termed “Tissue Therapeutics.” Using healthy cells, their aim is to rejuvenate organ function and address diseases that currently have limited treatment options. Its Satellite Adaptive Tissue (SAT) platform reprograms and assembles cells into implantable constructs known as Satellites. These can then integrate into the body and restore dysfunctional or damaged tissue. Ultimately, the company aims to address a number of diseases through custom cellular implants.
- Total funding: $101.5 million.
- Prominent investors: aMoon Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners, LS Polaris Innovation Fund.
- Mission: Triana Biomedicines harnesses the concept of molecular glues to promote protein interactions. This approach allows for the degradation of disease-causing proteins or modulation of specific targets. Their proprietary protein pairing engine is specifically designed to identify E3 ligases suitable for targeted protein degradation.
- Total funding: $160.8 million.
- Prominent investors: Atlas Venture, Lightspeed Venture Partners, RA Capital Management.
- Mission: Seismic Therapeutic integrates machine learning into the development of immunology therapies, analyzing vast numbers of proteins and their modifications in parallel. This approach targets diseases of the adaptive immune system with a focus on creating advanced treatments. Seismic’s IMPACT platform uses ML with structural biology and translational immunology data to design novel biologics and optimize properties. Seismic is building a pipeline of biologics targeting autoimmune diseases by modulating adaptive immunity.
- Total funding: $101 million.
- Prominent investors: Lightspeed Venture Partners, Google Ventures and Polaris Partners.
- Mission: Clade Therapeutics is working on the development of cloaked stem cell derivatives, designed to evade immune rejection. Their primary focus is on creating “off-the-shelf” NK and T cell cancer immunotherapies. Cancer immunotherapies is a first focus.
- Total funding: $87 million from a Series A round in 2021.
- Prominent investors: Syncona Partners LLP.
- Mission: Code Biotherapeutics is harnessing its non-viral 3DNA delivery platform to address genetic diseases, expanding the scope of genetic medicine and offering treatments for various indications. 3DNA aims to overcome challenges with genetic medicine delivery such as toxicity, immunogenicity and manufacturing hurdles. Code Bio is advancing an internal pipeline focused on Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Additional programs targeting the lungs, pancreas and liver.
- Partnerships: In 2021, Code partnered with Takeda to apply their 3DNA platform for rare disease therapies.
- Total funding: $85 million.
- Prominent investors: Northpond Ventures, 4BIO Capital, UPMC Enterprises.
25. Ceptur Therapeutics
- Mission: Ceptur Therapeutics is harnessing the U1 Adaptor technology to control nuclear gene expression, offering a novel approach to developing treatments for genetic diseases. U1 Adaptors engage the U1 snRNP complex to regulate gene expression at the pre-mRNA level in the nucleus. This technique allows specific modulation of difficult drug targets. Ceptur’s approach uses synthetic oligos to harness U1 snRNP, a key intracellular regulator of transcription and splicing.
- Total funding: $81.2 million.
- Prominent investors: Qiming Venture Partners, venBio Partners.
- Recent Achievements (2023): Secured $75M in Series A funding led by venBio and Qiming Venture Partners.
26. Mariana Oncology
- Mission: Mariana Oncology focuses on developing tumor-targeted radiopharmaceuticals using both alpha and beta emitting radioisotopes. Mariana’s goal is to provide more effective and safer cancer care by precisely delivering radiation to tumors. The company is developing precision radiopharmaceuticals with optimized ligand design for homogeneous tumor targeting that support rapid clearance. With an integrated discovery and development platform, Mariana aims to position precision radiopharmaceuticals as a mainstream therapeutic option.
- Total funding: $75 million.
- Prominent investors: Access Biotechnology, Atlas Ventures.
27. 64x Bio
- Mission: 64x Bio is advancing cell line engineering by integrating genome engineering and computational tools, aiming to optimize mammalian cell lines for improved cell and gene therapy design and manufacturing. Its VectorSelect platform combines high-throughput DNA library synthesis, next-gen sequencing and computational analysis to massively parallelize genetic screening of production cell lines. A proprietary barcoding method connects vector productivity data back to each cell line.
- Total funding: $59.5 million.
- Prominent investors: Lifeforce Capital, Fifty Years, First Round Capital.
28. Spatial Genomics
- Mission: Spatial Genomics is pioneering spatial analysis tools with a vision of transforming biology, precision medicine, diagnostics and drug development. The company’s GenePS platform combines sensitive confocal imaging with fluidics automation to assay gene and protein expression in situ. Customizable gene panels analyze single cells in intact tissue contexts to measure cell states and assess spatial relationships.
- Total funding: $56 million.
- Prominent investors: 12 West Capital, Fulgent Therapeutics.
29. Epic Bio
- Mission: Epic Bio is championing the development of epigenetic therapies to modify gene expression, targeting a range of diseases not currently addressable with existing genetic medicines. Epic is developing therapies to control gene expression and treat complex diseases through epigenetic editing. This technique supports precise regulation of gene activity without altering underlying DNA. Dr. Stanley Qi, a pioneer in genetic medicines who invented CRISPRa and CRISPRi, founded the company. Epic Bio’s therapeutic pipeline includes programs for FSHD, hypercholesterolemia and retinitis pigmentosa.
- Total funding: $55 million.
- Prominent investors: Information not available.
- Mission: Ansa focuses on developing DNA synthesis technologies for biotech applications. Its aims to use enzymatic processes to create high-quality DNA sequences more efficiently and sustainably than traditional processes. The company’s novel enzymatic technique aims to produce DNA faster, cleaner and more accurately to accelerate innovation in research, therapeutics, diagnostics and manufacturing.
- Total funding: $83.4 million.
- Prominent investors: Northpond Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Humboldt Fund, Fifty Years, National Science Foundation.
|Startup Name||Funding Amount||Number of Funding Rounds||Prominent Investors|
|Tempus||$1,345,000,000||7 (This includes Debt Financing and Series C-G)||Ares Management, Google, T. Rowe Price, Novo Holdings, Baillie Gifford, Franklin Templeton Investments, Franklin Templeton, Revolution, Revolution Growth, New Enterprise Associates|
|ElevateBio||$1,200,000,000||5||Matrix Capital Management, ITOCHU|
|Biosplice Therapeutics||$778,000,000||5||Sands Capital Ventures, Eventide, aMoon Fund|
|Insitro||$743,000,000||4||Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Andreessen Horowitz|
|Neumora Therapeutics||$612,000,000||4||ARCH Venture Partners, Softbank|
|Kriya Therapeutics||$600,500,000||5||Patient Square Capital, CAM Capital|
|Tessera Therapeutics||$531,800,000||3||Longevity Vision Fund, SALT Fund, Hanwha Impact Partners, March Capital, Alaska Permanent Fund, Altitude Life Science Ventures, Flagship Pioneering, SoftBank Vision Fund|
|Valo Health||$460,000,000||5||Koch Disruptive Technologies, PSP Investments, Flagship Pioneering, HBM Healthcare Investments AG, E Squared Capital Management, Longevity Vision Fund, Atinum Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, Invus|
|ReCode Therapeutics||$422,000,000||5||Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Matrix Capital Management|
|Generate Biomedicines||$420,000,000||2||Fidelity Management and Research Company, Morningside Venture Investments, T. Rowe Price, Altitude Life Science Ventures|
|Benchling||$411,900,000||8||Lone Pine Capital, Franklin Templeton Investments, Altimeter Capital, Sequoia Capital Global Equities, Menlo Ventures|
|Element Biosciences||$401,000,000||3||Fidelity Management and Research Company, JS Capital Management, T. Rowe Price, Venrock.|
|Maze Therapeutics||$381,000,000||3||Terra Magnum Capital Partners, NS Investment|
|Cellares||$355,000,000||3||8VC, Koch Disruptive Technologies|
|Pionyr Immunotherapeutics||$352,000,000||4||Gilead Sciences, Vida Ventures, Sofinnova Investments, New Enterprise Associates, OrbiMed, SV Health Investors|
|ADARx Pharmaceuticals||$332,000,000||5||Bain Capital Life Sciences, SR One, Ascenta Capital, OrbiMed, TCG Crossover|
|Orna Therapeutics||$321,000,000||3||MPM Capital, BioImpact, Merck|
|Chroma Medicine, Inc.||$260,000,000||3||Google Ventures, Cormorant Asset Management, Atlas Venture, Newpath Management|
|Triana Biomedicines, Inc.||$160,800,000||4||Atlas Venture, Lightspeed Venture Partners, RA Capital Management|
|Ambagon Therapeutics||$148,000,000||3||Nextech Invest|
|Satellite Bio||$101,500,000||2||Section 32, aMoon Fund|
|Seismic Therapeutic, Inc.||$101,000,000||1||Samsara BioCapital, Google Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Polaris Partners|
|Clade Therapeutics||$87,000,000||1||Syncona Partners LLP, Emerson Collective, LifeSci Venture Partners and Bristol Myers Squibb.|
|Code Biotherapeutics, Inc.||$85,000,000||2||Northpond Ventures, 4BIO Capital, UPMC Enterprises|
|Ansa Biotechnologies||$83,400,000||6||Northpond Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Humboldt Fund, Fifty Years, National Science Foundation|
|Ceptur Therapeutics||$81,200,000||2||Qiming Venture Partners, venBio Partners|
|Mariana Oncology||$75,000,000||1||Access Biotechnology, Atlas Ventures|
|64x Bio||$59,500,000||3||Lifeforce Capital, Fifty Years, First Round Capital|
|Spatial Genomics||$56,000,000||1||12 West Capital, Fulgent Therapeutics|
|Epic Bio||$55,000,000||1||Not available|
Filed Under: Biologics, Cell & gene therapy, Genomics/Proteomics, Industry 4.0