The biggest private biotech investments in February 2023

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biotech investments

The companies Aera Therapeutics, Hemab and Loam Bio bagged the biggest biotech investments in February 2023. Around the world, gene therapy, manufacturing and biomaterials attracted the most investor interest.

Private biotech fundraising in February 2023 lacked the massive funding rounds seen in January, from the likes of Asimov and BioRay Pharmaceuticals. However, there was still a lot of biotech fundraising taking place around the world. 

We’ve gathered the biggest biotech investments that went to private companies around the world in February. The fundraising companies have been split into healthcare and industrial biotechnology-focused verticals.

Healthcare investments in February 2023

In February 2023, the U.S.’ top private biotech healthcare investment went to Aera Therapeutics. The company launched with $193 million in Series B investments to fund the development of delivery technologies for genetic medicines including RNA interference, mRNA, gene therapies and gene editing. The Boston-based biotech was founded by Feng Zhang, who was one of the pioneers of the gene editing tool CRISPR-Cas9.

The top European biotech healthcare investment round went to Hemab in Denmark. The firm’s $135 million Series B round will be used to finance an ongoing phase 1/2 trial of a bispecific antibody treatment for the rare bleeding condition Glanzmann thrombasthenia in addition to the launch of a phase 1/2 trial of another drug candidate for the treatment of a bleeding condition called von Willebrand disease.

In contrast to BioRay Pharmaceuticals’ massive funding round in January 2023, February saw smaller funding rounds overall in the Asia-Pacific region. The Chinese firm Eluminex Biosciences topped the list with a $40 million Series B investment round. The company is developing antibody drugs for retinal diseases in addition to biosynthetic corneas made from recombinant human collagen, targeted at corneal stromal blinding diseases.

In close second, TransThera Biosciences bagged $38 million to fund the development of small molecule treatments for cancer, inflammation and cardiovascular diseases.

Other life sciences investments in february 2023

Outside of the healthcare sector, many biotech companies raised big investments to advance research into biomaterials, biofermentation and agriculture.

The U.S.’s biggest industrial biotech investment round went to Checkerspot, which bagged $55 million in Series C funding. The firm uses microalgae to mass-produce bio-based products that are more sustainable alternatives to polyurethanes and oil coatings.

Evonetix led the European industrial biotech rankings in February 2023. The firm’s $24 million Series B round will be used to bankroll the development of benchtop DNA synthesis instruments. The devices are designed to manufacture long, gene-length DNA molecules more quickly and cheaply than with current technology. This could have big applications in the emerging field of synthetic biology, such as in data storage, pharma, and agriculture.

First place in the Asia-Pacific region went to Loam Bio, one of the hottest startups in Australia. The firm raised $73 million in an impressive Series B round to finance the development of a way to boost the amount of carbon dioxide captured from the air by agricultural soils. Loam plans to achieve this by applying a microbial coating to seeds that promotes the absorption of the greenhouse gas and boosts crop yield.

Another notable funding round went to Mint Innovation. The New Zealand startup raked in $37 million to bankroll its quest to use microbes in the extraction of valuable or toxic metals from electronic waste.

March’s highlights

In March 2023, the public markets remain gloomy as stock prices continue to stagnate. This is already pushing many biotech and pharma companies to announce layoffs to extend their cash runway, with recent examples including MorphoSys, G1 Therapeutics and Theravance Biopharma.

However, private investments continue to flourish, with the CAR-T specialist Cargo Therapeutics bagging a huge $200 million Series A round and the drug discovery firm Tandem AI raising $35 million in China.

Explore other topics: Fundraising

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