The asthma specialist Areteia Therapeutics took the U.S.’ top private biotech investment crown in July 2022, with runners-up including liquid biopsy firm Delfi Diagnostics and the metabolic disease drug developer Carmot Therapeutics.
The U.S.’ top private biotech investments in July 2022 didn’t reach the giddy heights of National Resilience’s $625 million Series D round in June. However, there were still standout investments in the mix.
The Pittsburgh-based company Areteia Therapeutics was the winner in July 2022. The firm launched with $350 million in an oversized Series A round to finance the development of first-in-class oral drugs tackling a form of asthma called eosinophilic asthma that primarily affects adults.
Areteia’s lead candidate drug inhibits the maturation of immune cells in bone marrow that drive eosinophilic asthma, called eosinophils. The drug is designed to reduce the frequency of eosinophilic asthma attacks in a similar way to injectable drugs including benralizumab (Fasenra), mepolizumab (Nucala) and reslizumab (Cinqair).
Delfi Diagnostics came second in July 2022 with a $225 million Series B financing. Based in Baltimore and California, the firm is developing a new class of liquid biopsy tests that could allow medical professionals to detect cancer cases before symptoms arise. In third place, Carmot Therapeutics took home $160 million in a Series D round to bankroll clinical studies of drugs for metabolic conditions including obesity and type 2 diabetes.
While Areteia’s debut investment vastly outshone the Series A rankings, there were other impressive rounds in July 2022. Vicinitas Therapeutics came in second place with $65 million to finance the development of treatments for cancer and genetic diseases. The San Francisco-based company aims to stabilize proteins in the cell that would be abnormally degraded in cancer and genetic disorders, and are considered undruggable with traditional approaches.
Another notable Series A biotech investment in the U.S. in July was a round by Cartography Biosciences, which launched in California to develop next-generation cancer therapies. With the help of single-cell genomics and proteomics, the firm is building an atlas of cancer antigens that it can target with drug treatments. And Epicrispr Biotechnologies (Epic Bio) also launched in California with the mission of treating diseases by using gene editing to control gene expression via the epigenome.
Replay, a biotech based in San Diego, California, led the U.S. biotech investment seed round rankings in July 2022. The company launched with a seed round worth $55 million to develop a range of technologies that form the framework of emerging cell and gene therapies. These tools include high payload capacity viral vectors, cell therapies that avoid triggering the immune system, and DNA synthesis technology capable of writing large synthetic genes. The firm aims to develop gene therapies to treat genetic diseases affecting the skin, eye, brain and muscle.
As usual, industrial biotechnology firms raised a small proportion of the top biotech investments in the U.S. The companies that bagged the biggest investments in this sector in July were the agricultural biotech players Enko Chem and Napigen.
Another notable investment in the U.S. involved the company Turn Biotechnologies. The firm received a $1 million infusion from the decentralized autonomous organization VitaDAO. This is one of the largest investments made by the organization to date, and indicates that the emerging world of biotech DAOs is gaining traction.
Across the border from the U.S., its neighbor Canada also had a standout biotech investment: a $13.2 million Series A raised by Spiderwort, a biotech using cellulose-based tissue scaffolding to treat spinal cord injuries.