The biggest private biotech investments in January 2023

Image/Anastasiia Slynko
biotech investments

The companies Asimov, BioRay Pharmaceuticals and Colossal Biosciences bagged the biggest biotech investments in January 2023. Around the world, synthetic biology players and firms developing treatments for hormonal disorders attracted the biggest funding rounds.

2023 began with a bang in terms of biotech funding, and there are signs of stabilization in biotech stocks after two difficult years. 

We’ve gathered the biggest biotech investments that went to private companies around the world in January 2023. The fundraising companies have been split into healthcare and industrial biotechnology-focused verticals.

Healthcare investments

The U.S.’s top private biotech healthcare investment went to Asimov, based in Boston. The company took home $200 million in a combined Series A and Series B funding round to finance the development of synthetic biology tools that can be used to manufacture advanced therapies including cell and gene therapies and RNA therapeutics.

Asimov’s large round occurs as advanced therapies rack up approvals in the U.S. and the E.U. However, to get the therapies into patients, manufacturing methods need to keep up with the rapid innovations in cell and gene therapy. Asimov’s technology platform harnesses synthetic biology to manufacture the core components of advanced therapies more reliably than current techniques, bringing them into the mainstream.

The top European biotech healthcare investment round went to Amolyt Pharma in France. The firm’s $138 million Series C round will be used to finance the development of peptide drugs for rare hormonal disorders, such as eneboparatide for the treatment of hypoparathyroidism, and another candidate treatment for acromegaly.

The Chinese firm BioRay Pharmaceuticals topped the healthcare biotech investment list in the Asia-Pacific region with a $218 million investment in January 2023. The company is developing a pipeline of recombinant protein and antibody drugs to treat a range of autoimmune and cancer indications, and the recent round will bankroll its drug development and manufacturing capabilities.

Other life sciences investments

Outside of the healthcare sector, many biotech companies raised big investments to advance synthetic biology-fuelled manufacturing in addition to agricultural and food biotechnology.

In this space, the U.S.’s biggest private investment, a $150 million Series B round, went to Colossal Biosciences. The firm is developing a range of genetic engineering techniques to boost biodiversity and resurrect extinct species including the woolly mammoth and Tasmanian tiger. Part of the Series B round will fund the launch of the Avian Genomics Group, a Colossal Biosciences spinoff aiming to bring back the dodo.

In Europe, Algama led the industrial biotech rankings in January 2023. The French firm’s $14.1 million Series A round will be used to bankroll the development of vegan, algae-based imitations of salmon and tuna. It will also help the company to establish a biorefinery in Belgium.

Not far behind, the U.K. runner up Multus Biotechnology raised $9.6 million in a Series A round to finance the development of cost-effective ingredients in cultured meat.

The Asia-Pacific region saw few biotech investment deals that were outside of biomedicine. The main contender was the Chinese company Enochic, which raised $7.3 million in an early-stage investment round to finance the development of a synthetic biology platform that can produce sustainable products in nutritional and biomedical sectors.

An honorable mention also goes to BioElements in Chile. The startup raised $30 million in January 2023 to fund the commercial expansion of its bioplastics technology, which allows plastic packaging to decompose within 20 months.

February’s highlights

There are already many interesting financial round that have taken place in February 2023. For example, the U.S. company Dimension Inx bagged a $12 million Series A round at the start of the month to fund regenerative medicine approaches with the help of biomaterials. Meanwhile, the U.S.-Chinese firm Structure Therapeutics went public on the Nasdaq raising $161.1 million to fund the development of oral treatments for chronic metabolic and pulmonary diseases.

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